Cop 26: a question of degrees – what a hotter planet means for all of us

Cop 26: a question of degrees – what a hotter planet means for all of us

The world is heating up at an alarming rate and world leaders are running out of chances to keep temperature rises below 1.5C, says Jonathan Watts

Until now, human civilisation has existed within a narrow, stable band of temperatures. But amid years of burning fossil fuels, we have gradually heated the planet. And suddenly things are not so gradual: since 1970, the Earth’s temperature has shot up faster than in any comparable period. The oceans have heated at a rate not seen in 11,000 years.

The Guardian’s global environment editor, Jonathan Watts, tells Nosheen Iqbal that after leaders agreed to limit temperature rises to 1.5C in Paris in 2015, now they must use the Glasgow summit next week to demonstrate how they will achieve that aim. The alternatives hardly bear thinking about.

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