If nothing changes, the world may become 1.5 degrees warmer than before by 2031. Researchers assume that in 2051 the Earth may be 2 degrees warmer than before the industrial revolution, after which more and more greenhouse gases will be released. They used climate models to try to figure out what would have been the case if the Arctic had not been as warm as it is now.
In this hypothetical world, it would take five years longer for the Earth to become 1.5 degrees warmer, and eight years longer to reach the 2 degree Celsius limit. World leaders agreed in Paris in 2015 that land should not cross these borders. It is preferable that the warming remain below 1.5 degrees. Climate scientists around the world agree that climate change could lead to major catastrophes and have irreversible consequences.
For example, a 2 degree warming could cause the average temperature to rise by 4 degrees in the Arctic. This has “serious consequences” for ecosystems and the people who live there, according to Alastair Duffy, a researcher at University College London.
Accelerating warming in the Arctic is also causing significant uncertainties in climate models, researchers say. They basically believe that more research is needed and that the temperature in the Arctic should be better monitored.
Researcher Robbie Mallett says climate change in the Arctic is often overlooked because much of the region lies outside the boundaries of national governments. “Our research shows that the Arctic is having an impact on the Paris Climate Agreement, and we hope it will draw attention so people see that the climate crisis is actually happening in the region.”
The research was published today in the scientific journal Earth System Dynamics.
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