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    Global Warming: Flirting with the 1.5∘C Threshold

    May 26, 2016 | Commercial Energy, Commercial Solar, Sustainability

    It’s no secret that global warming has always been an issue in our society. Today, we have multiple reports and instances that show it isn’t going anywhere and if things don’t change, we are going to have the consequences to pay in the future.

    EnergyLink takes these issues very seriously and are personally doing our part to change the trajectory of what could potentially happen down the road.

    By reducing demand and generating electricity from an alternative energy source, you can help solve the problem at hand.

    Current State of Global Warming

    Global leaders met in New York back in April to sign the Paris climate agreement. One of the expressed purposes of the document is to limit warming to “well below 2∘C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5∘C.

    A Climate Central analysis shows that the world will have to dramatically accelerate emissions reductions if it wants to meet that goal. The average global temperature change for the first three months of 2016 was 1.48∘C, essentially equaling the 1.5∘ warming threshold agreed by COP 21 negotiators in Paris last December.

    February exceeded the 1.5∘C target at 1.55∘C, marking the first time the global average temperature has surpassed the sobering milestone in any month. March followed suit checking in at 1.5∘C. January’s mark of 1.4∘C, put the global average temperature change from early industrial levels for the first three months of 2016 at 1.48∘C.

    Background

    On December 12th, 2015, the 21st Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change approved the Paris Agreement committing 195 nations of the world to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2∘C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5∘C.

    The pact commits the world to adopt nationally determined policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions in accord with those goals.

    The 2∘C goal represents a temperature increase from a pre-industrial baseline that scientists believe will maintain the relatively stable climate conditions that humans and other species have adapted to over the previous 12,000 years. It will also minimize some of the worst impacts of climate change: drought, heat waves, heavy and flooding, and sea level rise.

    Every month NOAA and NASA update their global surface temperature change analysis, using dating from the Global Historical Climate Network, and methods validated in the peer-reviewed literature. The monthly updates are posted on their websites, and made available to the public along with the underlying data and assumptions that go into their calculations.

     

    These calculations are enormously useful for understanding the magnitude and pace of global warming. In fact, they are the bedrock measurements validating the fact that our planet is warming at all.