The Earth is warming at an increasing speed not experienced in the past 1,000 years, a top NASA climate scientist says.
The dire revelation by Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, comes two weeks after the federal agency revealed that July was the hottest month in recorded history.
Schmidt told The Guardian that the extraordinary warming increases make it "very unlikely" the world will stay within a crucial temperature limit agreed by nations last year which caps global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
"It's unprecedented in 1,000 years. There's no period that has the trend seen in the 20th century in terms of [temperatures]," he said.
"Maintaining temperatures below the 1.5C guardrail requires significant and very rapid cuts in carbon dioxide emissions or coordinated geo-engineering. That is very unlikely. We are not even yet making emissions cuts commensurate with keeping warming below 2C."
Some scientists believe the higher temperatures could continue to make sea levels rise, shrink vital polar ice caps, make certain parts of the world unlivable and lead to mass extinction of animals.
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