Humans have caused about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming above the preindustrial planetary temperatures experienced before the year 1880 or so. The world has pledged to avoid a warming above 2 degrees Celsius, and even hopes to hold the warming to 1.5 degrees, but current promises made by countries are not nearly enough to prevent these outcomes.
In other words, we are already on a course that could heat the planet enough to melt some or all of the Wilkes Basin.
“We say 2 degrees beyond preindustrial, and we’re already beyond preindustrial,” Wilson said. “So this is potentially the kinds of temperatures we could see this century.”