There is a one in two chance that the average annual global temperature will temporarily be 1.5°C higher than pre-industrial values for at least one of the next five years, the UN said on Monday evening.
According to this new climate bulletin published by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the probability of a temporary overshoot of the 1.5°C threshold has risen steadily since 2015, when this risk was close to zero.
For the years between 2017 and 2021, the probability of exceedance was 10%.
It has increased "to almost 50% for the period 2022-2026", indicates the WMO.
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Dr Leon Hermanson of the Met Office, the UK Met Office, who edited the bulletin, said the predictions show "the global temperature rise will continue".
But, he noted, “a single year of exceeding the 1.5°C threshold does not mean that we will have crossed the emblematic threshold of the Paris agreement;
however, it is a sign that we are getting closer to a scenario where the 1.5°C threshold could be exceeded for an extended period”.
Especially since the report concludes that there is only a low probability (10%) that the five-year average will exceed this threshold of +1.5°C.
“We are getting closer to the limit”
“This study shows, with great scientific reliability, that we are getting significantly closer to the moment when we will temporarily reach the lower limit of the Paris agreement.
The 1.5°C figure is not a randomly chosen statistic.
It indicates the point at which the effects of climate will be increasingly harmful for people and for the entire planet,” added WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
The Paris climate agreement aims to keep the increase in global average temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and if possible to 1.5°C.
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“As long as we continue to emit greenhouse gases, temperatures will continue to rise.
At the same time, our oceans will continue to warm and acidify, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea levels will continue to rise, and extreme weather will continue to intensify,” he said. he warned.
He also pointed out that the warming of the Arctic was "particularly marked", even though the conditions prevailing in this region have repercussions for the entire planet.
According to the bulletin, it is very likely (93%) that at least one of the years between 2022 and 2026 will become the hottest on record.
This record is currently held by the year 2016, which was marked by a powerful El Niño episode, a natural oceanic phenomenon that leads to a rise in temperatures.
It is also 93% likely that the average temperature for the period 2022-2026 will be higher than that of the last five years (2017-2021).
In 2021, the planet's average temperature rose 1.11°C above the benchmark pre-industrial era, according to another WMO report on the state of the global climate.