20:06 GMT05 March 2021
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    Global warming, rising at an unprecedented pace, is threatening the Earth and humanity’s place upon it with disaster, according to Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

    Beginning in October 2015, each month has set a new heat record, and July has been the warmest month since global temperature observation began in 1880. The speed of rising temperatures is much higher than in the previous millennium, according to data obtained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), demonstrating that warming rates over the past 100 years are about 10 times faster than the century that preceded it.

    "In the last 30 years we've really moved into exceptional territory. It's unprecedented in 1,000 years. There's no period that has the trend seen in the 20th century, in terms of the inclination (of temperatures)," Schmidt told the Guardian.

    For the next 100 years the prognosis is not good. According to NASA, the pace of increasing temperatures will be at least 20 times faster than the historical average.

    Last year, the international community agreed to a 1.5 degree Celsius limit at a landmark Paris climate accord. As Schmidt pointed out, keeping temperatures within this limit will require rapid and significant cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, a global economic shift that, given current attitudes and habits, is arguably an impossible goal. But, according to climate scientists, exceeding the temperature limit set at the Paris talks will bring dire outcomes. Sea level increases as a result of melting polar ice, drought and other severe weather conditions will lead to catastrophe for island nations and developing countries.

    Finding a way to shift the dependence of the developed world away from fossil fuels is of the utmost importance, according to climate experts.

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    Tags:
    record temperature, climate change, NASA, World
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