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2014-2023 saw the highest level of decadal global warming ever recorded

Global warming caused by humans is advancing at 0.26 degrees Celsius per decade, the highest rate since record-keeping began, according to new research by over 50 leading international scientists.
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 23:16 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 23:16 IST

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Bengaluru: Global warming caused by humans is advancing at 0.26 degrees Celsius per decade, the highest rate since record-keeping began, according to new research by over 50 leading international scientists.

The Indicators of Global Climate Change (IGCC) report led by the University of Leeds calculated the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from anthropogenic sources minus the removals by the anthropogenic sinks.

"Human-induced warming has been increasing at a rate that is unprecedented in the instrumental record, reaching 0.26 [0.2 - 0.4] °C per decade over 2014-2023. This high rate of warming is caused by a combination of greenhouse gas emissions being at an all-time high of about 53 billion tonnes CO2e per year over the last decade, as well as reductions in the strength of aerosol cooling," the study said.

Scientists said the remaining carbon budget - how much carbon dioxide can be emitted before committing us to 1.5 °C of global warming - was only around 200 billion tonnes, around five years' worth of current emissions.

The single-year average human-induced warming was assessed at 1.31 degrees C in 2023 relative to 1850-1900. "In this 2024 update, we assess the 2014-2023 decade average human-induced warming at 1.19 degrees C, which is 0.12 degrees C above the assessment for 2010-2019," the study noted.

Professor Piers Forster, Director of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures at the University of Leeds, said in a note accompanying the study, “Our analysis shows that the level of global warming caused by human action has continued to increase over the past year, even though climate action has slowed the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Global temperatures are still heading in the wrong direction and faster than ever before."

The high GHG emissions are also affecting the earth's energy balance with ocean buoys and satellites tracking unprecedented flows of heat into the oceans, ice caps, soils and atmosphere. "This flow of heat is 50% higher than its long-term average," the note said.

The IGCC report seeks to fill the information gap between the reports released by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel's most recent report was released in 2022 and the next report is expected in 2027.

Forster said that fossil fuel emissions account for 70 per cent of all GHG emissions and were clearly the main driver of climate change, but other sources of pollution, including from cement production, farming, deforestation and the levels of sulphur emissions were also contributing to warming.

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Published 04 June 2024, 18:56 IST

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