Land is warming nearly *twice as fast* as the global average
I just discovered this in the IPCC’s latest report on land and agriculture and was shocked I’d never heard it before. I did understand that the ocean takes longer to heat up (like how it takes time to boil a pot of water).
But I didn’t realize just how different land was. Nearly two times faster is a lot. (89% faster to be exact)
Why does this matter?
Because it makes it so much more relevant and personal to humans.
It means the warming that we are personally experiencing and will experience going forward is much higher than what the 1°C, 2°C, and 3°C numbers have led us to believe – nearly twice as high.
Here’s what these temperatures mean for land:
- 1.5°C global temp = 2.8°C (5.1°F) warming on land.
- 2°C global temp = 3.8°C (6.8°F) warming on land.
- 3°C global temp = 5.6°C (10.1°F) warming on land.
- 4°C global temp = 7.5°C (13.5°F) warming on land.
4°C might not sound like too much (to Americans especially). But 7.5°C (13.5°F) has a different ring to it, doesn’t it? A touch more urgent, perhaps?
This ultimately doesn’t change what we’re up against.
But framing it this way may wake some more people up to the fact that civilization’s house is on fire and needs to be put out ASAP.
Related: For those who missed it, here’s a useful analogy to understand why 2°C is so dangerous (hint: a 2°C (3.6°F) change in your body temperature is a 102.2°F fever – think about what that feels like).