Met Office data for 2015 so far shows that, for the first time, global mean temperature at the Earth’s surface is set to reach 1 °C above pre-industrial levels*.
This represents an important marker as the world continues to warm due to human influence. Reacting to news Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “With the world already experiencing supercharged droughts and storms after less than one degree of man-made global warming, imagine how devastating two or three degrees will be. The world is on a climate change collision course unless governments agree much tougher cuts in fossil fuel emissions ahead of crucial climate talks in Paris next month.”
Based on data from January to September, the HadCRUT dataset jointly run by the Met Office and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia shows 2015 global mean temperature at 1.02 °C (±0.11 °C) above pre-industrial levels*.
Stephen Belcher, Director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: “We have seen a strong El Nino develop in the Tropical Pacific this year and that will have had some impact on this year’s global temperature.
“We’ve had similar natural events in the past, yet this is the first time we’re set to reach the 1 °C marker and it’s clear that it is human influence driving our modern climate into uncharted territory.”
Early indications suggest 2016 will be similarly warm and while it’s more difficult to say exactly what will happen in the years immediately after that, we expect warming to continue in the longer term.
Peter Stott, Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution, said: “This year marks an important first but that doesn’t necessarily mean every year from now on will be a degree or more above pre-industrial levels, as natural variability will still play a role in determining the temperature in any given year.
“As the world continues to warm in the coming decades, however, we will see more and more years passing the 1 degree marker – eventually it will become the norm.”
Two thirds of total emissions CO2 used
While temperatures this year are around halfway to 2 °C, indicators of current and future change are at different stages due to the time it takes for greenhouse gases to influence our climate system.
We know cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) will be key to determining the amount of eventual global warming we’ll see. It is estimated that up to 2,900 Gigatonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) can be emitted to have a likely (more than 66%) chance of limiting warming to below 2 °C.
As of 2014, about 2,000 GtCO2 had already been emitted, meaning society has used about two thirds of the 2 °C budget. This gives an indication that we are already committed to some level of further warming.
One third of sea level rise
Increases in global sea level, caused by warming of the oceans as well as melting of ice, take much longer to respond to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases than air temperature.
Currently, we have seen about 20 centimetres of global mean sea level rise since pre-industrial times and this is about one third of the level that could be seen by 2100 in a 2 °C world.
Sea levels would continue to rise further into the next century, however, and potentially beyond.
Still possible to limit warming to 2 °C
Research suggests it is still possible to limit warming to 2 °C above preindustrial levels. However, the later that global CO2 emissions peak – the faster subsequent emissions cuts would need to be in order to keep global temperature rise below the limit.
The Met Office Hadley Centre is one of a number of centres around the world which monitor changes in the climate and play a key role in developing the international evidence base to understand future change.
Its core science enables UK Government and industry to make decisions which will help the UK become more resilient to climate variability and change, and benefit from opportunities for growth.
* While late 19th century temperatures are commonly taken to be indicative of pre-industrial, there is no fixed period that is used as standard and a variety of other periods have been used for observational and palaeo datasets. There are limitations in available data in the early instrumental record, making the average temperature in the reference period less certain. There is not a reliable indicator of global temperatures back to 1750, which is the era widely assumed to represent pre-industrial conditions. Therefore 1850-1900 is chosen here as the most reliable reference period, which also corresponds to the period chosen by IPCC to represent a suitable earlier reference period.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”