Understanding the Recent Surge in Global Temperatures:2024

  Mar 05, 2024

Understanding the Recent Surge in Global Temperatures:2024

The recent years have marked significant milestones in the context of global warming, with 2023 being the warmest year recorded since global temperature data collection began in 1850. This alarming trend continued into 2024, witnessing the warmest January on record. The primary driver behind this unprecedented warming is human-induced global warming, further intensified by natural phenomena like El Niño.

Breakdown of Recent Temperature Records

 2023 as the Warmest Year: The global average temperature reached 14.98°C, surpassing the pre-industrial average by 1.48°C, making it the warmest year on record.
 Record-Breaking January 2024: January 2024 set a new record for the highest ever monthly global surface temperature, at 1.27°C above the 20th-century average.

Key Contributing Factors

1. Human-Induced Global Warming: The excessive emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, agriculture, and other human activities is the primary cause of the recent warming trend.
2. El Niño: The temporary warming effect of El Niño, occurring every two to seven years, has further amplified global temperatures.
3. Ocean Warming: The oceans, absorbing 90% of the Earth’s excess heat, have reached new heat content records.
4. Decrease in Aerosols: Reductions in aerosol concentrations, due to cleaner air regulations, may have a slight warming effect.
5. Volcanic Eruptions: The 2022 Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai eruption had a mixed effect on temperatures, with its emissions initially cooling but eventually not significantly altering the warming trend.

Impacts of Extreme Heat

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has highlighted the severe consequences of surpassing the 1.5°C warming threshold, including more intense rainfall, droughts, and heatwaves. Notably, severe heatwaves and droughts are expected to affect a larger fraction of the global population, with the risk of annual deadly heatwaves, similar to those experienced in India and Pakistan in 2015, increasing with further warming.

In essence, the recent records are a stark reminder of the urgent need to address human-induced global warming to mitigate its most severe impacts. Effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to changing climate conditions are crucial to prevent further catastrophic warming and its associated impacts on global ecosystems and human societies.



Get a call back

Fill the below form to get free counselling for UPSC Civil Services exam preparation


Preserving Temperate Rainforests: Strategies and Challenges
Dakar Declaration on Climate Change 2023
Indian Economy and Monsoons
Dancing Frogs of the Western Ghats:
Neelakurinji: Symbolic Shrub of Western Ghats
Fentanyl and Its Precursors: US-China Cooperation
India's Future Space Station: Bharatiya Antariksh Station
Delhi Durbars
Shola Forests in the Nilgiris and Western Ghats
Climate Change:1.5°C Global Warming Target
Coastal Commons in India: Role and Importance
Cover Crops in India: Regenerative Agriculture
Understanding the Himalayan Climate Risk Index