by Chris Becker
There’s more sobering news from the NASA with 2017 already shaping up as the second warmest year on record, with average temperatures up 0.9C already, and could outpace the warmest year ever – 2016.
More from The Guardian:
2017 hasn’t had the warming influence of an El Niño event. El Niños bring warm ocean water to the surface, temporarily causing average global surface temperatures to rise. 2016 – including the first six months of the year – was influenced by one of the strongest El Niño events on record.
Now the first six months of 2017 have been 0.3°C hotter than 1998, despite the former having no El Niño warming influence and the latter being amplified by a monster El Niño. In 1998, there was also more solar energy reaching Earth than there has been in 2017.
In terms of El Niño and solar temperature influences, 2017 thus far has been most similar to 2006, but 2017 has been 0.3°C hotter than 2006 as well.
This puts the IPCC’s and the Paris Accords target of a 2C capping by the end of the century well into doubt as a recent study by the University of Washington, published in Nature, showed that the probability of maintaining that target is dwindling fast:
The recently published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections to 2100 give likely ranges of global temperature increase in four scenarios for population, economic growth and carbon use.
We find that the 90% interval for cumulative CO2 emissions includes the IPCC’s two middle scenarios but not the extreme ones.
The likely range of global temperature increase is 2.0–4.9 °C, with median 3.2 °C and a 5% (1%) chance that it will be less than 2 °C (1.5 °C).
Not a good outcome, particularly when this study uses different variables and methods, focusing on the economic and population impacts. And its not a certainty – nothing in science is – but it adds to the probability of increasing economic damage due to climate change and thus insurance measures need to be enacted. Quickly.