The Climate Overshoot Commission, a global group of world leaders and experts working closely with the UN, defines climate overshoot as the period when global warming exceeds the 1.5 degrees C mark before cooling. Even the most optimistic models expect this overshoot to happen mid-century and could last for several decades.
The intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 2022 report rules a breach of the 1.5 degrees mark as “almost inevitable” in the mid-century. It is expected to fall below the threshold level only by the end of the century if various measures required to reduce global warming are strictly implemented.
Experts fear that extended periods of overshoot will have serious dangerous outcomes on several ecosystems. It could result in increased cases of coastal flooding, forest fires and loss of biodiversity. It could result in mass migration and will put both animal and animal life as well as nature at risk.
Our best bet to lower the probability of overshooting 1.5 degrees C is to lower emissions as soon as possible. Climate experts are agreed that climate overshoot can be avoided only if governments act urgently and aggressively than they are doing at present.
Luckily, the knowledge and technologies necessary to slash emissions exist. But decarbonization required to arrest and reverse global warming will require bold and innovative action that is missing. Phasing out fossil fuel is now recognised as an essential action. Reorienting climate governance to achieve net zero is also urgently required so that financial support is not found wanting to push for a carbon neutral world.