The world is on track to reach 1 degree Celsius of global warming this year since the industrial revolution, the half-way point toward the maximum tolerable threshold identified by scientists.
That’s the conclusion of the Met Office, the U.K. government-backed forecaster that’s among the three primary institutions that compile a global data series on the Earth’s temperature.
“We are seeing record warmth up through September,” Julia Slingo, chief scientist for the Met Office, said at an event at Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London on Monday. “We expect 2016 to be of similar warmth. It’s a bit of a marker in that it’s the first time we’ve gone above 1 degree.”
Envoys from more than 190 countries gathered by the United Nations are aiming to seal a deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this year and have fixed holding the temperature increase to 2 degrees as one of their key goals. Beyond that level, Slingo said “the impacts become disproportionately larger.”
Based on data from January through September, the Met Office found the global mean temperature in 2015 at 1.02 degrees higher than pre-industrial levels, according to a statement from the Met Office on Monday.