The image below illustrates the threat that the temperature rise may exceed 3°C. The blue trend, based on January 1880 to March 2023 data, shows how 3°C could be crossed in 2036. The magenta trend, based on January 2010 to March 2023 data, better reflects relatively short-term variables such as El Niño and illustrates how 3°C could be crossed as early as in 2025.
The above image uses monthly NASA Land+Ocean temperature anomalies versus 1886-1915 that are further adjusted by 0.99°C to reflect ocean air temperatures, higher polar anomalies and a pre-industral base, as also illustrated by the image below.
Indeed, rising temperatures threaten to cause massive loss of sea ice followed by eruptions of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. This threat is further illustrated by the image below.
Sea Surface Temperature World (60S-60N)
Recently (e.g. on April 4, 2023), the sea surface temperature in 2023 (black line) was as much as 0.3°C higher than in 2022 (orange line) on April 28, 2023, and this while we’re only just entering the upcoming El Niño.
Monthly Northern Hemisphere Land Temperature Anomaly
Temperatures have been rising especially fast on land in the Northern Hemisphere, where most people are living. As temperatures keep rising, more extreme weather events can be expected that can make life hard, if not impossible, even at higher latitudes.
|[ from earlier post ]|
Carbon dioxide (CO₂) broke three records recently, for the daily, weekly and monthly average. The daily CO₂ average was 425.01 ppm on April 28, 2023, the weekly CO₂ average was 424.4 ppm for the week beginning on April 23, 2023, and the monthly CO₂ average was 423.38 ppm in April 2023, each of them the highest carbon dioxide levels on record at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, as illustrated by the image below.
|[ from earlier post ]|
Even more crucially, methane emissions should be cut rapidly and dramatically, as discussed in an earlier post. If a trend such as the one in the above image continues, the Clouds Tipping Point could be crossed as early as in 2027 due to forcing caused by the rise in methane alone, while this could happen even earlier than in 2027 when further forcing other than just the forcing from methane is taken into account. Crossing the Clouds Tipping Point, at 1200 ppm CO₂e, could on its own cause a further rise of 8°C.
NOAA’s 1924.99 ppb for the December 2022 global methane mean translates into 385 ppm CO₂e when using a 1-year GWP of 200 for methane.
So, adding this 385 ppm CO₂e to 425 ppm CO₂ would leave just 390 ppm CO₂e for further forcing, before the Clouds Tipping Point would get crossed, as the image on the right illustrates.
Methane at higher altitude can reach even higher levels than NOAA’s global marine surface data. As illustrated by an image in an earlier post, monthly methane recently rose to above 1950 ppb at Mauna Loa, Hawaii.
Further changes such as caused by sea ice loss and changes in aerosols can also speed up the temperature rise.
We’re moving into an El Niño, as illustrated by the image on the right, adapted from NOAA.
Moving from the bottom of a La Niña to the peak of a strong El Niño could make a difference of more than half a degree Celsius, as discussed in an earlier post. El Niño can be expected to reach its full strength within a few years, with a maximum possible in 2026.
Furthermore, sunspots look set to reach a very high maximum within years, while the 2022 Tonga submarine volcano eruption did add a huge amount of water vapor to the atmosphere, as discussed in an earlier post.
Vast amounts of ocean heat are moving toward the Arctic, especially in the North Atlantic, threatening to cause rapid melting of Arctic sea ice and thawing of permafrost.
|[ from earlier post ]|
The above image illustrates the danger of two tipping points getting crossed, i.e. the Latent Heat Tipping Point and the Seafloor Methane Tipping Point.
|Latent heat loss, feedback #14 on the Feedbacks page
|[ see analysis at the Extinction page ]|
Destabilization of methane hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean threatens to result in explosive eruptions of methane, as its volume increases 160 to 180-fold when leaving the hydrates, as illustrated by the above image.
A huge temperature rise thus threatens to unfold over the next few years, as illustrated by the image on the right. The annual rise from pre-industrial to 2026 could be more than 18.44°C by 2026, and monthly anomalies could reach even higher.
Meanwhile, humans are likely to go extinct with a rise of 3°C and most life on Earth will disappear with a 5°C rise, as illustrated by the image below, from an analysis discussed in an earlier post.
This dire situation calls for urgent action as described in the Climate Plan. Reducing emissions alone won’t be enough. Carbon also needs to be removed from the atmosphere and oceans, through re-/afforestation, through pyrolysis of biowaste with the resulting biochar (and nutrients) returned to the soil and further methods. Even with a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy, with changes to food, land use, construction and waste management, and with removal of large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and oceans, still more action is needed.
Marine Cloud Brightening is a good idea, while many further methods may first need more surplus clean energy to be available and/or require more R&D.
Whether action will happen successfully and rapidly enough is indeed a good question, but that question shouldn’t be used as an excuse to delay such action, since taking such action simply is the right thing to do.
|[ image from Climate Emergency Declaration ]|
Accordingly, everyone is encouraged to support and share this Climate Emergency Declaration.
• NASA – customized temperature anomaly
• NOAA – Recent Daily Average Mauna Loa CO2
• NOAA – Weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa
• NOAA – Climate Prediction Center – ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions
• Dire situation gets even more dire
• High sea surface temperature in North Atlantic
• Temperatures rising fast March 2023
• Sea surface temperature at record high
• IPCC keeps downplaying the danger even as reality strikes
• Climate Plan