Global warming keeps pace
Credit: UN Women Asia and the Pacific/Flickr/Photo: UN Women/Mohammad Rakibul Hasan

Earth warms at a record pace but climate change isn't accelerating

A new study reveals that Earth's warming rate reached an all-time high in 2023, driven primarily by human activity, but there is no evidence of accelerating climate change.

Seth Borenstein reports for the Associated Press.


In short:

  • A group of 57 scientists found that last year’s record temperatures are primarily due to increased fossil fuel burning.
  • Despite the record warming rate, there is no significant acceleration in human-caused climate change beyond what was expected.
  • The report highlights an alarming situation, with Earth likely to surpass the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming threshold within 4.5 years if current emission trends continue.

Key quote:

“The future is in our hands. It’s us — not physics, but humans — who will determine how quickly the world warms and by how much.”

— Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech climate scientist and chief scientist at the Nature Conservancy

Why this matters:

With Earth on the brink of crossing critical temperature thresholds, urgent action is needed to mitigate severe health and environmental impacts, including extreme weather events and loss of biodiversity. Read more: Heat, air pollution and climate change … oh my! Was summer 2023 the new normal?

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