April 21, 2024

There is so much information about the new Copernicus Climate Change Service atlas that my laptop started overheating trying to process it all. As well as all the previous data, it predicts where the climate is going and how soon we will breach the 1.5C “limit”, and then 2C. You can call up the region where you live, so it’s specific to what’s happening to you and your family – and all the more disturbing for it.

Called a separate part Climate Pols which is especially intended for journalists is easier to operate. The refreshing bit is that the charts, maps and timelines from 1850 to today on the main atlas are completely factual measurements, so there can be no argument about the trends. It then tracks those trends in the likely scenarios for the next few years. Examining current temperature rises, it seemed to this observer that scientists had been underestimating how rapidly the situation was deteriorating for some time.

Looking at the mass of information that all points in one direction makes the current political arguments about how soon the UK should reach net zero seem trivial. We are clearly running out of time. Still, the idea is that people can use the atlas to make their own decisions.

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