World breaches critical 1.5C global warming threshold across entire year for the first time

8 February 2024, 08:45 | Updated: 8 February 2024, 08:57

Earth broke heat records for the eighth straight month in January
Earth broke heat records for the eighth straight month in January. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Global temperatures have pushed past the 1.5C warming threshold for an entire year for the first time.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

It is the highest 12-month global temperature average on record, with February 2023 to January 2024 running 1.52C hotter than pre-industrial levels, the EU's climate service said.

World leaders pledged to limit the long-term temperature rise to 1.5C in the 2015 Paris Agreement, in a bid to avoid the most damaging impacts of global warming.

The breach does not break the international treaty but it could potentially be impacted if urgent action is not taken.

Scientists have said warming can still be slowed if countries step up their measures.

Read more: Exact date new amber weather warnings issued with nearly a foot of snow set to fall

Read more: Clapham chemical attack victim 'could lose sight in eye' as friends launch fundraiser for 'devoted and generous mother'

Andrew Marr told that Britain is not moving fast enough when it comes to the climate crisis.

"To go over [1.5C of warming] on an annual average is significant," Prof Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, said.

"It's another step in the wrong direction. But we know what we've got to do."

January 2024 also broke the 2020 record for the warmest first month of the year by 0.12C, according to Copernicus data.

It was 1.66C warmer than the late 1800s, which is the base for temperatures before the burning of fossil fuels.

Scientists have blamed both human-caused warming from the burning of fossil fuels and a natural but temporary El Nino warming of parts of the Pacific.

Climate professor tells Tom Swarbrick he supports Keir Starmer downgrading his green 'target'

It comes as Labour is expected to ditch plans to spend £28 billion a year on environmental projects.

Sir Keir Starmer is set to confirm that the pledge is being scaled back due to changes in the economic landscape.

The Labour leader said the money was "desperately needed" for the party's key mission to achieve clean power by 2030.

The Green Party has described the u-turn as a "massive backwards step for the climate, for the economy and for good quality jobs".

Co-leader Carla Denyer said: "Labour have chosen to wear their fiscal rules as a millstone around their neck.

"A different approach through tax reforms, in particular by introducing a wealth tax on the super-rich, could help pay for the green

"There is more than enough money in the economy to pay for this."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Image provided by Intuitive Machines shows its Odysseus lunar lander with the Earth in the background

Private US spacecraft enters orbit around the Moon before landing attempt

Boris Nadezhdin

Russian court rejects appeal over politician’s removal from presidential race

Putin's Cod War

Putin's cod war: Russia tears up treaty that allowed UK trawlers to catch fish in Russian sea

MPs walk out of the Commons chamber in protest

SNP and Conservative MPs walk out of Commons chamber in protest in chaotic scenes at Gaza debate

James Biden, the brother of US President Joe Biden

James Biden says his brother had no involvement in family’s business dealings

King Charles pictured back at work as he says messages of support after cancer diagnosis ‘reduced him to tears’

King Charles pictured back at work as he says messages of support after cancer diagnosis ‘reduced him to tears’

Poland farmers protesting

Zelensky invites Polish leaders to border as farmers’ protest hits weapons flow

Members of The Eagles, from left, Timothy B Schmit, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh

Criminal case over handwritten lyrics to Hotel California goes to trial

Lyle's Golden Syrup has defended the rebrand

Lyle’s Golden Syrup hits back at critics after major rebrand 'aims to appeal to Gen Z'

Snow in Northumbria, and flooding in Worcestershire on February 8, earlier this month

Exact time snow could fall tomorrow as Met Office warns of flooding across south-east causing potential travel chaos

The Office UK cast

The Office: Where are the stars of the hit sitcom now?

Two men look at flames after a natural gas pipeline explodes outside the city of Boroujen in Iran (Reza Kamali Dehkordi/AP)

Iran accuses Israel of attack that saw explosions strike natural gas pipeline

Chelsea Orrock

Beautician, 29, leaves mum scarred after smashing wine glass in her face for pointing out they dated same man

Robin Windsor died aged 44.

Robin Windsor had spoken ‘very openly’ about struggles with mental health before death, former co-star says

Xielo Maruziva fell into the water on Sunday afternoon

Pictured in his Spider-Man outfit: Boy, 2, who fell into river as parents tell of heartbreaking search for their son

People enjoy the beach in the late afternoon sun, December 23, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Young girl dies after deep 6ft hole she was digging in sand collapses on her at South Florida beach