At a Time of Climate Crisis: Two degrees is too high for ice sheets, permafrost and glaciers

At a Time of Climate Crisis – We cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice

MaREI researcher Dr Hannah Daly at ERI, University College Cork wrote an article ‘Two degrees is too high for ice sheets, permafrost and glaciers’ for her column in the Irish Times. 

A flurry of reports released each year around the COP summit, update us on the state of global climate action and climate change. I have – like many – become somewhat desensitised to their grim contents. But two recent reports, when read side-by-side, shook me deeply.

The first, the UN Emissions Gap Report, tracks the gap between where global emissions are heading with current country commitments and where they ought to be to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. Its subtitle hits like a tonne of bricks: “Broken Record – Temperatures hit new highs, yet world fails to cut emissions (again)”. Greenhouse gas emissions rose to an all-time high in 2022 and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any point in at least 3 million years – maybe much longer – meaning 2023 will be the warmest year on record, probably by a large margin.

As commitments currently stand, greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise by 2030, instead of entering the steep decline necessary to limit the worst effects of climate change. If countries fully implement their current commitments to cut emissions, the world is on track to heat by between 2.5 and 2.9 degrees, it concludes.

Read the full article here.