Gavin Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, announced last week his expectation that the Earth’s average global temperature will in 2016 approach +1.15° to +1.45°C beyond the pre-industrial baseline, as based on the record-shattering temperatures that have been recorded throughout the Earth during the first three months of the year. As Dahr Jamail has pointed out, the upper boundary of this prediction closely approaches the +1.5°C “target” that the world’s states acknowledged as a desirable goal for limiting global warming at the Paris climate talks last December (COP21). It bears noting that the Paris Agreement, which is entirely voluntary, does not mandate any reduction in carbon emissions until 2020 at the earliest. Meanwhile, 93% of the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached this year, and western India is suffering an unprecedented drought and heatwave, with an estimated 330 million people affected.
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