The world is closer than ever to reach an annual average global temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), according to a report on Thursday, the lower of the two temperature limits set by the landmark Paris Agreement.
“There is a 90% likelihood of at least one year between 2021-2025 becoming the warmest on record, which would dislodge 2016 from the top ranking, according to the Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update,” the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said.
“There is about a 40% chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level in at least one of the next five years – and these odds are increasing with time,” according to WMO’s new climate report.
Over 2021-2025, high-latitude regions and the Sahel are likely to be wetter and there is an increased chance of more tropical cyclones in the Atlantic compared to the recent past (defined as the 1981-2010 average), according to the report.
The annual report gathers expertise from scientists around the world. Led by UK’s Met Office, the climate prediction groups from Spain, Germany, Canada, China, the US, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark joined the report this year.
Quoting WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, the statement added: “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 Agreement on Climate Change.”
“It is yet another wakeup call that the world needs to fast-track commitments to slash greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality,” Taalas added.
He underlined the need for climate adaptation.
“Only half of 193 WMO members have state-of-the-art early warning services. Countries should continue to develop the services that will be needed to support adaptation in climate-sensitive sectors – such as health, water, agriculture and renewable energy – and promote early warning systems that reduce the adverse impacts of extreme events.”
The Paris Agreement is considered a landmark document in global climate change efforts and a legally binding treaty.
It entered into force in 2016 and has been adopted by over 190 parties, aiming to curb global warming compared to pre-industrial levels to well below 2, preferably 1.5, degrees Celsius./aa