In less than four years, the average global temperature could cross an important threshold, The Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warns: There is a 50:50 probability that in at least one of the next five years between 2022 and 2026, the average global temperature will be at least temporarily 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level, the participants wrote. And that probability is constantly growing: it was still close to zero in 2015 and only about 10 percent between 2017 and 2021.
At the same time, there is a 93 percent chance that one of the years between 2022 and 2026 will be the warmest year on record. This would topple 2016 as the previous leader. The working group also calculated a 93% chance that the five-year average for the period from 2022 to 2026 will be higher than the average for the past five years from 2017 to 2021.
“This study with high scientific quality shows that we are tentatively close to the minimum target of the Paris Climate Agreement. WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said 1.5 degrees is an indication of the point at which climate impacts become increasingly harmful to humans and the planet as a whole. “One year above 1.5 degrees does not mean that we have crossed the symbolic threshold of the Paris Agreement. This shows we are closer than ever to a situation where this can be exceeded for an extended period of time,” adds Leon Hermanson of the Met Office, who oversaw the report.
With regard to the Paris Climate Agreement, it is not the one-year temperature level that is decisive. The 1.5 degree limit is officially exceeded when the global average temperature is higher during a meteorological measurement period of 20 or 30 years.
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