“Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change; ” states the climate agenda article 2 paragraph 2, which came into being in 2015. A lot of discussion on the agreement builts around the target temperature figures.
Furthermore, a report titled “Global Warming of 1.5 °C: an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty” was tabled this year. There are many concerning terms in that IPCC report title. To start with, IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
To further evaluate these temperature terms we will do a series of articles starting with this one. The 2 ॰C and 1.5 ॰C temperature figures have been floating around in the conversations during last couple of years and it's time to look into the scientific relations behind the matter and interpret some of the statements above. There is a large number of debates on whether CO2 is driving the climate change and the atmospheric temperature increase. Then there is the discussion if this mechanism is actually vice versa and the temperatures are driving the CO2 increase. There are climatologists that present a range of arguments in this broad spectrum of views. Our responsibility as the SciencePolicy Circle is to bring into attention all these discussions because one thing we surely see is that climate shifts are happening fast and they are becoming severe each year.
Global temperature variations and incidents behind climate shifts we see today are in fact huge thermal sciences problems. The heat transfer mechanisms involved are important to look at and understand. Understanding of the problem starts with identifying the contributing heat sources. Sun is the ‘star’ heat source and there are minor contributions from stellar radiation 9indirect radiation) and geothermal sources on earth. One concern we have is predicting sun's output into the future. Current understanding is based on 8 centuries worth statistical data. Therefore, the output of the sun to the future is an extrapolation. We cannot however be certain that this figure would not drastically change in a short term since there are certain tipping point the universe may have more knowledge on than the human mind. Wherever we are in this argument the earth needs a whole lot of saving from the climate in this century. With that we pause this story to be continued in next article. “Thermal Sciences of Climate Shifts : Part 2”