The Met Office advised that its records dating back to 1850, show that globally 2022 ranked as the sixth warmest year on record. We must reduce our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2045 in order to keep the rise in average global temperature to 1.5°C which was set by the 2015 UN Paris Agreement a legally binding international treaty. Global warming refers to the persistent rise in the average global temperature, and its impacts on the planet's climate system known as climate change.
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap the suns heat when it shines during the day heating the Earth surface. The surface then cools at night, returning heat to the atmosphere.
The amount of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the air has increased over the last 100 years as a result of humans burning fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas) and the clearing forests. Significant increases in atmospheric CO2 have a negative impact on Earth's climate and causes the atmosphere to hold more heat than it did previously, making the planet warmer.
This is causing global warming where the planets temperature is increasing due to too much of the sun's heat being trapped by greenhouse gases leading to increasingly frequent and intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warmer oceans.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its “Ar6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023” summarizes five years of reports on global temperature rises, fossil fuel emissions and climate impacts states:
“There's no time to lose to keep to the target of limiting the global average temperature to below 1.5°C. There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all."
To achieve this the Scottish Government has set out its plans in its updated “Securing a green recovery on a path to net zero: climate change plan 2018–2032” which states: “This journey will not be easy, and will need to be a truly national endeavour with business, communities, and individuals contributing fully. It will require us to be innovative, to learn as we are going and to utilise new and exciting technologies and ideas.”
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