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UK greenhouse gas emissions down 42% since 1990 but world heading for warmest decade

Thu 07 February 2019 | Back to news list

A report, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in February has found that UK greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 42 per cent since 1990. However, the UK Met Office has recently warned that the world is heading for the warmest decade since records began.
The BEIS report indicates that UK greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.7 per cent in 2017, compared to the previous year, following a 5 per cent cut in emissions in 2016. Between 1990 and 2017, UK emissions fell by 42 per cent.
The transport sector was the biggest contributor; 27 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.
Meanwhile, the Met Office has warned that the world is heading for its warmest decade since records began. The forecast for the global average surface temperature for the five year period to 2023 is predicted to be near or above 1.0 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels.
Professor Adam Scaife, Head of Long-Range Prediction at the Met Office (reported by Climate Action), said: “2015 was the first year that global annual average surface temperatures reached 1.0 °C above pre-industrial levels and the following three years have all remained close to this level.  The global average temperature between now and 2023 is predicted to remain high, potentially making the decade from 2014 the warmest in more than 150 years of records.”
The Met Office says there is a 10 per cent chance that there will be a year in which global average temperature will rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Last year, the IPCC released a stark report which warned of the difference between a temperature rise of 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius.
Dr Doug Smith, Met Office Research Fellow, said: “A run of temperatures of 1.0 °C or above would increase the risk of a temporary excursion above the threshold of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.  Predictions now suggest around a 10 per cent chance of at least one year between 2019 and 2023 temporarily exceeding 1.5 °C.”

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