Surely two degrees can’t make that difference, your thinking, you’d just take off or put on a jumper? Well for you, yes you could do that. But its no simple for plants or insects to respond in that way. A two-degree rise represents a fundamental danger to the planet’s ecosystems along with a number of other serious impacts. A well-respected panel of global climate change released the figures which were later confirmed by NASA.
February 2016 was an unusually warm month across the globe. Although figures obviously don’t go back that far, it has been estimated that the unwanted milestone is the first time it would have happened since the first humans began to start walking upright several thousands of years ago.
However, it’s the alarming rate of increase that should worry us most of all. It took from the start of the industrial age until October 2015 to reach 1.6c above what is considered to be “normal” and then the exponential rise of another 0.4c until March 2016. So in the space of just six months, we’ve seen the global rise in temperatures soar by nearly a quarter.
It also means that for many areas and regions that would usually expect a cold, snowy winter – there wasn’t one. London experienced three moments in February (often considered the coldest month of the year) were snow flurries fell. Not one flake of the snow actually settled for more than about 20 minutes. Even the snow hills of Glenshee Ski Centre in the Cairngorms in Scotland did not get the much-expected snowfall skiers had hoped for. A JCB digger was used to transfer snow from the mountainous peaks and dumped it onto the runs.
Some regions in the Arctic Circle were experiencing temperatures in the daytime of around 2c (36F) throughout February. The average daytime temperature for most of these areas in February should be nearer -15c to -20c. Then we have Svalbard in Norway where temperatures have surpassed 0c (32F) on 25 days since the start of the winter on December 1st. Usually, the months of December through to March sees the mercury stuck below freezing during the day and night.
The world’s temperature has warmed 1.33°F (0.74ºC) over the last 100 years
Some blame the sudden boost in global temperature on the El Nino effect. The last El Nino was back in 1998 and the planet has been storing nearly 18 years’ worth of heat in its oceans which has now been liberated and spreading its warmth around the globe at the alarming rates we have seen.