March 7, 2016
Warming appears to have gone into overdrive, with the northern hemisphere going 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures for the first time, says Eric Holthaus of New Scientist
Preliminary February and early March temperatures are in, and it’s now abundantly clear: warming is going into overdrive.
As of 3 March, it appears that average temperatures across the northern hemisphere breached 2°C above pre-industrial levels for the first time in recorded history, and probably the first time since human civilisation began thousands of years ago.
The 2°C mark has long been held (somewhat arbitrarily) as the point above which climate change may begin to become “dangerous” to humanity. It has now arrived – though very briefly and only in the northern hemisphere – much more quickly than anticipated. This is a milestone moment for our species. Climate change deserves our greatest possible attention.