World's first year-long breach of key 1.5C warming limit

February 9, 2024 - Poynting, Mark


"Look what's happened this year with only 1.5C - we've seen floods, we've seen droughts, we've seen heatwaves and wildfires all over the world."

The period from February 2023 to January 2024 reached 1.52C of warming, according to the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service. The following graph shows how that compares with previous years.

Line graph showing rolling 365 day average of global air temperatures. For the first time on record, this has passed 1.5C for the year to date. Temperatures have increased since the 1940s, where warming was around 0.2C.


The latest climate warning comes amid news that the Labour Party is ditching its policy of spending £28bn a year on its green investment plan in a major U-turn. The Conservatives also pushed back on some key targets in September.

This means the UK's two main parties have scaled back the type of pledges that many climate scientists say are needed globally if the worst impacts of warming are to be avoided.

The world's sea surface is also at its highest ever recorded average temperature - yet another sign of the widespread nature of climate records. As the chart below shows, it's particularly notable given that ocean temperatures don't normally peak for another month or so.


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