Speed Reads

climate crisis

Entire countries have already warmed beyond the climate-critical 2 degrees Celsius threshold

Global temperature rise is indisputably here.

Two degrees Celsius has become the politically agreed-upon — albeit somewhat arbitrary — limit scientists have warned we need to keep global warming below to prevent the worst effects of climate change. But much of the world has already warmed past that threshold, and the heat is leaving very obvious consequences in its growing wake, a Washington Post analysis has found.

In the last five years, between 8 and 11 percent of the world has seen temperatures rise 2 degrees Celsius or higher when compared with pre-industrial temperatures. When the last 10 years are taken into account, that drops to 5 to 9 percent of the world, showing that temperatures have continued to rise in the most recent years.

Most of this temperature rise is centered around the Arctic, with northern countries such as Switzerland and Kazakhstan entirely encompassed by 2-degree temperature rise. But there are anomalies too, like a hot spot off the coast of Uruguay and Argentina that is killing off clam populations. The Washington Post has animated a map of the Earth to show where temperature rise is harshest, which you can watch below or explore more in depth here. Kathryn Krawczyk