Global Warming Looks Set To Accelerate! Could Pass This Century’s Limit Of 1.5°C In 9 Years

First Posted: May 11, 2017 06:10 AM EDT

The warning target of 1.5°C global warming, which is this century’s limit, could be smashed in the next nine years itself. According to scientists, the Pacific Ocean’s climate cycles could have been playing the role of a temporary buffer for the global temperature rise. If the cycle alters into a positive phase, then the global temperature is going to go up much faster than it has been. Moreover, such a situation might have occurred already.

Incidentally, the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) is an ocean-atmosphere climate pattern. It alters gradually over a period of 10 to 30 years and can be detected as warm (positive) or cool (negative) surface waters. The IPO has been in a negative phase since 1999. However, it already has or is about to step into a positive phase as suggested by the recent record-breaking warm years of 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The study was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. It indicates how there was a rapid increase in global temperature spikes during the last two positive phases, i.e., in 1925-1946 and 1977-1998. The study also showed how there was a temperature stall during the negative phase recorded in the duration of 1947-1976. Furthermore, temperature continued to rise, though slowly, in the most recent negative phase.

“Although the Earth has continued to warm during the temporary slowdown since around 2000, the reduced rate of warming in that period may have lulled us into a false sense of security,” stated study lead author Dr. Benjamin Henley, from the University of Melbourne. “The positive phase of the IPO will likely correct this slowdown. If so, we can expect a global warming acceleration in the coming decades.”

One hundred ninety-six nations agreed to limit the global warming rise to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels under the Paris Agreement. However, according to researchers, if the IPO is now positive, then there could be accelerated heating over the next decade. This indicates that the 1.5°C target could be broken by 2026, Stuff reported.

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