The Earth's climate may be hotter in 2024! The era of global boiling has arrived, how should we respond

The Earth’s climate may be hotter in 2024! The era of “global boiling” has arrived, how should we respond?

  • Posted by admin
  • June 19, 2024

The “2023 Global Climate Status Report” released by the World Meteorological Organization on March 19 shows that 2023 is the hottest year on record, and many climate change indicators such as global greenhouse gas concentrations and surface temperatures have set new records.

In 2023, heat waves, floods, droughts, wildfires, etc. affected the daily lives of millions of people and caused billions of dollars in economic losses. And the Earth may be hotter in 2024, and the World Meteorological Organization has issued a red alert.

The Earth’s climate may be hotter in 2024!

The report data shows that in 2023, the concentrations of the three major greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, continued to rise from record levels in 2022, with the concentration level of carbon dioxide 50% higher than the pre-industrial level. 2023 is the hottest year in the world since meteorological records began. The global average near-surface temperature is 1.45℃ higher than the pre-industrial level. The past 10 years have been the hottest 10 years on record, and the record for the hottest year may continue to be broken in 2024.

In July 2023, UN Secretary-General Guterres said: “The era of global warming has ended, and the era of global boiling has arrived.”

Extreme warm events have occurred frequently since the 21st century, and breaking records has become the norm

More than 80% of China’s national meteorological stations have the highest record of the lowest temperature in the 21st century. In the past three years, the number of stations that have broken the record of the highest value of the lowest temperature is as high as 714, which is more than the total of any previous decade. Take Chongqing Shapingba Station as an example. Before 2022, the highest record of the lowest temperature at the station was 32.8℃. However, during the high temperature from July to August 2022, this record was broken six times, and finally settled at 34.9℃, raising the original record by a full 2.1℃.

I believe many people will have this feeling: now the summer is hotter, but the winter is not warmer, and it is common to be “frozen to tears”. People can’t help but ask, what about global warming?

Global warming and strong cold waves are not contradictory. Zhou Bing, chief expert of climate services at the China Meteorological Administration, said that global warming is not a universal and uniform warming, but more extreme heat and cold. Under the background of global warming, the Arctic has seen a significant increase in temperature, and the atmospheric meridional circulation has become more prominent, which is conducive to the emergence of strong cold waves.

The Arctic region is the most sensitive region to global climate change, and the warming rate is 2 to 3 times that of the world. Under the warming trend, the Arctic vortex weakens, and the control of the cold air in the polar vortex is also weakened accordingly. Therefore, the polar cold air is more likely to split southward to affect China and form a cold wave.

Global warming will also cause the atmosphere to become unstable, and the meridional circulation will be more prominent, that is, the high-pressure ridge is stronger and the low-pressure trough is deeper. The low-pressure trough is like a slide between different latitudes. Cold air can more easily pour down the slide, go deep south to affect China, and bring about a sharp drop in temperature. Under the control of the high-pressure ridge, the temperature will rise all the way, often warming to record highs. This is also the main reason why China has often experienced extreme cold and warm transitions in autumn and winter in recent years.

Climate change is a pressing global issue
Climate change is a pressing global issue

What can we do to cool the earth?

The theme of the World Meteorological Calendar Year rarely involves climate action. This year’s theme “The Front Line of Climate Action” also reflects the sense of crisis brought about by climate change and the urgency of all parties to take effective measures to address climate change.

China is one of the countries that participated in the international scientific assessment of climate change earlier. To achieve the goal of addressing climate change, China has established an organization to address climate change and actively formulated and implemented a series of strategies, regulations, policies, standards, and actions to address climate change.

In recent years, the Chinese government has been implementing a national strategy to actively address climate change and has unswervingly taken the path of ecological priority and green and low-carbon development. At present, China’s installed capacity of renewable energy ranks first in the world, the total carbon storage of forest and grass vegetation in the country has reached 11.443 billion tons, and the national carbon emission rights trading market covers annual carbon dioxide emissions of about 5.1 billion tons, which has become the world’s largest carbon market covering greenhouse gas emissions.

At present, China has built the world’s largest comprehensive meteorological observation system and has become the only country that simultaneously operates four low-Earth orbit meteorological satellites at dawn, morning, afternoon, and tilt, providing strong support for meteorological forecasting services and scientific research. In 2023, the national public meteorological service satisfaction was 92.4 points, and meteorological information saved the public 560 billion yuan in losses. The meteorological service has achieved remarkable results in ensuring economic and social development and safety.

In the face of increasingly frequent extreme weather disasters, the most effective way for human society to save itself is to give early warnings. Relevant statistics show that if a warning is given 24 hours in advance, the disaster losses can be reduced by 30%. Since 2015, China has gradually established a national early warning release system, forming a disaster prevention and relief work mechanism led by the government, with early warning first, inter-departmental linkage, and social participation.

The role of meteorological disaster prevention and mitigation as the first line of defense has become increasingly prominent. At the same time, China has also built an Asian multi-hazard early warning system to provide technical support and assistance for disaster early warning for Asia and countries along the Belt and Road.

Regarding the question of how humans can cool the earth through action, Zhao Chuanfeng, a distinguished professor and doctoral supervisor at Peking University, believes that emission reduction is the key. At the same time, compared with carbon removal technology, solar radiation intervention can achieve the effect of cooling the earth faster at a lower cost, but the risks and uncertainties are great.

In recent years, meteorological departments at all levels in China have also been committed to publicizing the current status of climate change to the public, going deep into cities, rural areas, communities, and schools, and carrying out all-round, multi-angle, and multi-form popular science activities to spread the concept of green and low-carbon and awaken the public’s awareness of low-carbon economy and low-carbon environmental protection.

The era of “global boiling” has arrived. All countries should work together to raise awareness of climate risk prevention, strengthen prevention and response capabilities, jointly respond to the climate crisis, and reduce the losses caused by climate change.

Climate policies aim to reduce carbon emissions
Climate policies aim to reduce carbon emissions