World moves ‘measurably closer’ to 1.5 degree threshold — Global issues

The global annual to ten-year climate update also reveals a 93 percent chance that at least one year between 2022 and 2026 will be the warmest on record, thus beating 2016 in first place.

The probability that the five-year average for this period is higher than the past five years, 2017-2021, is also 93 percent.

The 1.5°C target is the goal of the Paris Agreement, which calls on countries to take concerted climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming.

Probability increases

“This study shows – with a high level of scientific proficiency – that we are measurably closer to temporarily reaching the lower target of the Paris climate agreement,” said Petteri Taalas, secretary general of the WMO.

“The 1.5°C figure is not an arbitrary statistic,” he added, but “rather an indicator of the point at which climate impacts will become increasingly harmful to humans and indeed the entire planet.”

The chance of temporarily exceeding the 1.5°C limit is steadily increasing since 2015according to the report, which was prepared by the United Kingdom’s Met Office, the WMO’s leading center for climate update forecasting.

At the time, it was close to zero, but the probability increased to 10 percent in the past five years and to nearly 50 percent for the 2022-2026 period.

Wide Effects

Mr Taalas warned that as long as countries continue to emit greenhouse gases, temperatures will continue to rise.

“In addition, our oceans will become warmer and more acidic, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea levels will continue to rise and we will become more extreme again. Arctic warming is disproportionately high and what’s happening in the Arctic affects all of us,” he said.

The Paris Agreement outlines long-term goals that push governments to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C, while continuing efforts to limit the increase even further to 1.5°C.

© Unsplash/Patrick Perkins

Wildfires raging across parts of the western US have turned the skies over San Francisco orange.

‘Keeps coming closer’

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change further states that climate-related risks at 1.5°C global warming are higher than today, but lower than at 2°C.

“Our latest climate forecasts show that global temperature rise will continue, with an equal chance that any of the years between 2022 and 2026 will be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels,” said Dr. Leon Hermanson of the UK Met Office, who led the report.

“A single year of exceedance above 1.5°C doesn’t mean we’ve crossed the iconic threshold of the Paris Agreement, but it does reveal that we’re getting closer and closer to a situation where 1.5°C would last for an extended period of time. can be exceeded.”

Last year, the global average temperature was 1.1°C above the pre-industrial baseline, according to the WMO preliminary report on the State of the Global Climate. The final report for 2021 will be released on May 18.

WMO said back-to-back La Niña events in early and late 2021 had a cooling effect on global temperatures. However, this is only temporary and will not reverse the long-term trend of global warming.

Any development of an El Niño event would immediately raise the temperature, the agency said, as happened in 2016, the hottest year on record.

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