Tipping Point – 1.5 Degrees Celsius Warming

Pro: 1.5 Degrees Warming Is Dangerous

From The Climate Reality Project:


When we talk about 1.5 degrees of warming, we’re talking about the increase in the Earth’s average temperature. We measure this increase from a baseline average temperature in the mid-to-late nineteenth century – when the Industrial Revolution swung into high gear and people began burning fossil fuels on an unprecedented level, jumpstarting climate change.

The important thing to understand is that global warming that comes from burning fossil fuels is not a uniform process. Due to a host of natural factors, some areas – like the poles – are warming much faster than others. So when we talk about preventing 1.5 degrees of global warming, we’re talking about preventing a 1.5 degree increase in the Earth’s average temperature. Some places have already crossed that line.


And it’s already happening

That’s because the climate crisis is already here. Today. Higher temperatures are already dragging out droughts and wiping out cropsHimalayan glaciers that provide water to some 240 million people are already meltingStorms like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Marie are already getting stronger and more devastating thanks to climate change. The list goes on.

1.5 degrees is a tipping point for a lot of natural systems

Well, at about 1.5 degrees of global warming is right about where there’s enough heat to push many of the natural systems that sustain us past a dangerous turning point.

And after 1.5 degrees is gets much worse.

The IPCC projects that going from 1.5 degrees of global warming to 2 degrees could mean:

  • 1.7 billion more people experience severe heatwaves at least once every five years.
  • Seas rise – on average – another 10 centimeters (almost 4 inches),.
  • Up to several hundred million more people become exposed to climate-related risks and poverty.
  • The coral reefs that support marine environments around the world could decline as much as 99 percent.
  • Global fishery catches could decline by another 1.5 million tonnes.

Con: 1.5 Degrees Warming Has Already Happened and Is Just Fine

Illustration by Anthony Watts, base image via slideteam.

Climate alarmists (and the IPCC) say we need to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial times to avoid disastrous consequences, but data show we have already reached such temperatures.

European temperature data show temperatures began rising about the year 1890. (Note that this was before the large modern rise in CO2 emissions.)

As shown by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and many articles such as this, catastrophic predictions of extreme climate change have not come true.

Here are a few examples from Junk Science

Snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro

2008: Snow on Kilimanjaro to vanish by 2020.

2020 Reality: Yup. Snow still there.

Sea-level rise in Florida

1986: EPA predicts 2 feet of sea level rise for Florida by 2020.

2020 Reality: Sea level rise + subsidence in South Florida since 1986 has been less than 4 inches.

Pacific Islands

2000: Global warming will ruin Pacific Island Nations economies by 2020.

2020 Reality: As of 2019, Tuvalu, for example, was enjoyiong an unprecedented 6-year economic growth spurt.

Climate alarmists warn we must take drastic steps within the next 10 years to keep warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial conditions. They claim that warming beyond that threshold will unleash a crisis of substantially worse extreme weather events and other climate harms. However, Europe possesses the best, longest-running temperature records on the planet, and those temperature records show warming has already exceeded 1.5°C. Nevertheless, alarmists’ catastrophic predictions are not coming true.

Below is the Berkeley Earth average surface temperature record for Europe. Europe is a good location to analyze, because some of the longest continuous temperature records are from Europe. It shows a warming of 1.5°C has already occurred there. Yet catastrophic tipping points have not occurred. 

Figure 1. (click to enlarge) Berkeley Earth average European temperature. (http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/regions/europe)  


  1. Dr. Roy Spencer, online publication, 2019. http://www.drroyspencer.com/2019/05/half-of-21st-century-warming-due-to-el-nino/
  2. IPCC AR5 report on climate, 2015, IPCC Website: https://www.ipcc.ch/assessment-report/ar5/
  3. NOAA NESDIS sea surface temperature satellite imageryhttps://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/ocean/sst/anomaly/2015.html
  4. Understanding El Nino, NOAA Website, 2016: https://www.noaa.gov/understanding-el-nino
  5. El Nino’s Grip on Climate, Nature, 2012 https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/el-nino-s-grip-on-climate-25816069/
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