The world entered 2021 faced with an alarming set of statistics. The six hottest years on record have all occurred since 2015, and 2021 is expected to continue the run. The last 14 years have seen the 14 lowest Arctic sea ice levels since satellite records began. CO2 levels in the atmosphere are currently around 415 parts per million (ppm), and are expected to breach a level that is 50 per cent higher than before the industrial era later this year. “It’s iconic because it shows how much we have actually altered the composition of the atmosphere through human action,” Prof Richard Betts, who leads the Met Office’s annual CO2 forecast, told The Independent as the news broke. Mean global temperatures are now around 1.2C above pre-industrial levels. The path to limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the aspirational target set by countries under the historic Paris Agreement, grows steeper year by year.
Independent 9th Feb 2021 read more »