50 leading scientists have conducted an analysis of human-caused global warming and concluded that global warming has increased at an “unprecedented rate.”
The scientists conducted the analysis because, though there are regular assessments of climate change conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), their resulting reports are only published every 5-10 years, creating a lag in the information’s distribution to decision-making parties.
As such, the recent study, published in Earth System Science Data, was created to follow methods as closely as possible as those used in the IPCC’s reports. This includes estimating numerous key climate indicators, such as greenhouse gas emissions, surface temperature changes, warming attributed to human activities, and estimates of global temperature extremes.
Their findings showed that human-induced global warming has reached up to 1.14 °C on average over the span of 2013-2022, and 1.26 °C in 2022. The 2013-2022 time period saw human-caused global warming increasing at an unprecedented rate of over 0.2 °C per decade.
The study attributes the increased rate of global warming to two factors: greenhouse gas emissions were at an all-time high during the decade, and reduced aerosol cooling.
The study also finds that increases in greenhouse gas emissions have slowed, and expresses optimism that human-caused global warming will continue to slow during the course of the 2020s, a time period that the study authors describe as “critical.”
"This robust update shows intensifying heating of our climate driven by human activities. It is a timely wake up call for the 2023 global stocktake of the Paris Agreement -- the pace and scale of climate action is not sufficient to limit the escalation of climate-related risks,” said study co-author Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte, who also co-chaired the working group that produced the IPCC’s recent assessment report.