Climate experts have said there is a 40 percent chance that global temperatures could temporarily exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in the next five years.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), there is a 90 percent chance of having at least one year the hottest on record between 2021-2025, dropping 2016 off the top rankings.
“These are more than just statistics,” said WMO Secretary General Professor Petteri Taalas. “Rising temperatures mean more melting ice, higher sea levels, more heat waves and other extreme weather, and a greater impact on food security, health, the environment and sustainable development.
” “This study shows – with a high level of scientific skill – that we are getting measurably and inexorably closer to the lower target of the Paris climate agreement.
It is yet another wake-up call that the world must accelerate its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.
” The Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 and saw delegates from 196 countries meet to agree to limit global warming to “well below 2 ° C”, with the intention of limiting this figure to 1.5 ° C In 2020 – one of the three hottest years on record – the global average temperature was 1.2 ° C above the pre-industrial baseline, according to the WMO report on the State of the Global Climate 2020.
It highlighted the acceleration in indicators for climate change, such as rising sea levels, melting sea ice and extreme weather, as well as a worsening impact on socio-economic development.
It added that the odds of temporarily reaching 1.5 ° C have been roughly doubled compared to last year’s forecasts.
This is mainly due to the use of an improved temperature data set to estimate the baseline rather than sudden changes in climate indicators.
However, according to the climate update, it is considered very unlikely (10 percent) that the average annual temperature on Earth over the entire 2021-2025 period will be 1.5 ° C warmer than pre-industrial levels.
With the UK’s Met Office as the lead center, climate forecasting groups from Spain, Germany, Canada, China, USA, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark contributed new forecasts this year.
The WMO said that combining predictions from climate forecasting centers worldwide provides a more accurate forecast than that which can be obtained from a single source.
In February, a study warned that global emissions reductions needed to be about 80 percent more ambitious than current plans to meet the 2 ° C target.
In May, researchers said that tougher climate targets promised by some of the world’s most polluting countries have reduced the level of projected warming to 2.4 C by the end of the century, still exceeding the target set in the Accord. Paris, but lower than the last. predictions.