Global temperatures in 2021 have reached record highs, with temperatures reaching 1.47 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels from January to September, according to the United Nations (UN) World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This figure is only 0.53 degrees Celsius lower than the 1.5-degree Celsius limit set by the Paris Agreement. The rise in temperatures has caused multiple detrimental effects, including flooding, droughts, wildfires and hurricanes while loss of ice in places like Greenland and Antarctica threatens the displacement of millions of people. Human activities, including deforestation, burning fossil fuels and land use, have caused temperatures to soar. However, efforts are being made to mitigate the effects of rising temperatures, including reduced carbon footprints and the increased use of renewable energy.
Global Temperatures Reach Record Highs in 2021
The year 2021 has seen alarming temperatures globally, with many parts of the world recording record highs. According to the United Nations (UN) World Meteorological Organization (WMO), global temperatures from January to September this year were 1.47 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which is only 0.53 degrees Celsius lower than the 1.5-degree Celsius limit set by the Paris Agreement.
Effects of Rising Temperatures
The rise in global temperatures has caused numerous effects that are felt worldwide. Higher temperatures create the perfect conditions to exacerbate several weather events, such as droughts, floods, and hurricanes. Heatwaves have also become more prevalent due to rising temperatures. These extreme weather events have claimed numerous lives, destroyed infrastructure, and caused a strain on natural resources.
Rising temperatures have also impacted the natural world, leading to significant ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland. The rising sea levels that accompany this ice loss have already overtaken some low-lying areas and threaten to displace millions of people worldwide in the future.
Rising Temperatures Linked to Human Activity
It is no surprise that human activities like burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and the use of land contribute to the rising temperatures globally. The UN IPCC’s recent report points out that human activities are responsible for significantly warming the planet. These activities release greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, trapping heat in the atmosphere, and leading to global warming.
Efforts to Mitigate the Effects of Rising Temperatures
Environmentalists, researchers, and leaders worldwide are working tirelessly to mitigate the effects of rising temperatures. Efforts to reduce carbon footprints through reducing greenhouse gas emissions have become more popular in recent years. The use of renewable energy, such as hydropower, solar, and wind energy, has become more widespread globally. The use of electric cars, bikes, and other forms of clean transportation is also picking up momentum worldwide.
Some governments have also taken to reforestation measures to counterbalance the effects of deforestation. Reforestation not only helps mitigate climate change and promote biodiversity but also reduces the likelihood of natural disasters like floods and fires.
Q: What is considered a significant global temperature increase?
A: A significant global temperature increase refers to a temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Q: How are rising temperatures linked to natural disasters?
A: Rising temperatures cause extreme weather events like floods, hurricanes, and heatwaves. These extreme weather events cause significant damage to infrastructure, natural resources, and often lead to loss of life.
Q: What is causing rising temperatures globally?
A: Human activities like burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and land use contribute significantly to rising temperatures globally.
Q: What is the Paris Agreement?
A: The Paris Agreement is an international accord signed by 197 countries in 2015, aimed at limiting global warming to below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Global temperatures are on the rise, and this trend will continue unless significant measures are taken to reduce human activities’ impact on temperature. Individuals can reduce their carbon footprint by choosing environmentally friendly options like taking public transportation or using renewable energy. Governments can invest in national programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting alternative forms of energy. The fight against climate change requires collective efforts from all sectors of society.