The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday (9) that the world has a 50% chance of recording a warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, even for a brief period, until 2026.
This does not mean that the world will exceed the long-term warming threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius, which scientists have set as the upper limit to prevent catastrophic climate change. But a year in which the temperature rises by 1.5°C can offer a taste of what it would be like to cross that threshold over a long period of time.organization said.
“We are getting closer and closer to reaching the minimum objective of the Paris Agreement temporarily”WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said: The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, set the goal of limiting temperature increase to two degrees Celsius, preferably less than 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to the pre-industrial era.
The warmest year on record so far was 2016, when the average temperature was about 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels, which refer to the period between 1850 and 1900.
The World Meteorological Organization report was released between the last WMO Conference. United nations On Climate – COP26, held in Glasgow, Scotland – and the next conference, COP27, to be held in Egypt. About 30,000 participants are expected to attend Sharm el-Sheikh in November, including 120 heads of state and government.
Warming Effects 1.5°C
The probability of going above 1.5°C for a short period has been increasing since 2015: In 2020, scientists estimated this chance at 20% and revised it last year to 40%.
Even in the year with a high temperature of 1.5 ° C It can have terrible effects, such as destroying coral reefs around the world and reducing the ice cover in the Arctic. As global temperature increases, the climate is likely to become drier in the southwestern United States and Europe over the next five years and wetter in the Sahel, Africa, northern Europe, northeastern Brazil and Australia.
In terms of the long-term average, the global average temperature is now about 1.1°C higher than the pre-industrial average.
“Losses and damages associated with or exacerbated by climate change are already occurring, some of which are likely to be irreversible in the near future,” said Max Daley, WMO Deputy Director for Climate Affairs.
Current policies could lead to a temperature rise of 3.2 degrees Celsius
Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, world leaders ideally pledged not to exceed the 1.5°C threshold in the long term, but so far, countries have not met the global emissions reduction target.
Scientists predict that the current level of economic activity and policies puts the world on a path to a warming of about 3.2°C by the end of the century.
“It is important to remember that the lack of science-based emissions policies means that we will suffer incrementally worse effects as we approach 1.6°C or 1.7°C and every warming thereafter.‘,” explained Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US.
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