“Unprecedented” heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles triggered warnings from scientists that climate breakdown could be much faster and abrupt than previously thought.
The warnings come after this weekend temperatures in Antarctica were 40C higher in some places, showing a level of heat never recorded before – whilst north pole temperatures were 30C higher than normal, reaching levels normally registered later in the year.
According to The Guardian, the fast increase in temperatures at the poles are showing the Earth’s climate systems have been disrupted by human lifestyles and the result of it is further heating the planet.
Scientists have labelled the developments as “historic” and “dramatic.
Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University, told the newspaper: “The models have done a good job projecting the overall warming, but we’ve argued that extreme events are exceeding model projections. These events drive home the urgency of action.”
Mark Maslin, professor of earth system science at University College London, said he and his colleagues were already shocked by the amount and the level of severity of extreme weather events last year.
“Now we have record temperatures in the Arctic which, for me, show we have entered a new extreme phase of climate change much earlier than we had expected,” he added.
Code red for humanity warning last year
In August 2021, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in a report that without rapid and large-scale action to cut down emissions, global temperatures are set to increase – and pass the critical 1.5-degree Celsius threshold in the next two decades.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the report was a “code red for humanity”.
He added: “The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.
“Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible .
“This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.”
Rishi Sunak announced new fossil fuel drilling last month
Before the Cop26 climate conference last year, scientists argued against new fossil fuel projects, as they would derail net-zero targets.
But Sunak said last month that North Sea drilling would “support British jobs”.
He told a press conference: “We have resources in the North Sea, and we want to encourage investment in that because we’re going to need natural gas as part of our transition to getting to net zero.
“And in the process of getting from here to there, if we can get investment in the North Sea that supports British jobs, that’s a good thing.