There is a 50% chance that global warming will exceed 1.5ºC in the next five years

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There is a 50% chance that for at least one of the next five years, the average annual temperature of the planet temporarily exceeds pre-industrial levels by 1.5 ° C, the lower limit of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). And those odds increase over time.

The odds of global warming passing that mark were slim to none in 2015, but they’ve been rising ever since. For the period between 2017 and 2021 they were calculated at 10%, while for the period from 2022 to 2026 that percentage reaches almost 50%.

“This threshold of 1.5 °C is not a random figure, but indicates the point at which the effects of climate will become increasingly detrimental not just for people, but for the entire planet,” said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas.

Also, there is a 93% chance that at least one of the years in the period between 2022 and 2026 becomes the warmest ever recorded and unseat 2016 from first place. According to the publication Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update (Annual to Decennial Global Climate Bulletin), the probability that the five-year average of the period 2022-2026 is higher than the average of the last five years (2017-2021) is also 93%.

The bulletin, produced by internationally renowned climatologists and using the best forecasting systems in the world, equips governments with practical information.

“As long as greenhouse gas emissions continue, temperatures will continue to rise. In parallel, the oceans will continue to warm and become more acidic, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea ​​level will continue to rise and weather conditions will become more and more extreme. The warming is disproportionately more pronounced in the Arctic and what happens in that region affects us all,” added Taalas.

The limit of the Paris Agreement

The latest predictions show that the sustained increase in global temperature will continue.

For each year between 2022 and 2026, the average annual temperature is projected to be between 1.1°C and 1.7°C above pre-industrial levels, which correspond to the average for the period 1850-1900.

There is a 48% chance that, in at least one of the years, the global near-surface temperature will exceed pre-industrial levels by 1.5°C. The probability that the five-year average exceeds this threshold is minimal (10%).

“If one year of the 2022-2026 period exceeds that value of 1.5 °C, this would not mean that the symbolic threshold of the Paris Agreement had been exceeded, but it would show that we are getting closer and closer to a situation where the 1.5°C limit could be exceeded for an extended period of time,” said Leon Hermanson, an expert at the UK Met Office who produced the report.

The Paris Agreement sets long-term goals to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the planet and keep global temperature rise this century below 2°C, while trying to limit that increase to 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global warming of 1.5°C will exacerbate climate-related risks to which natural and human systems are currently exposed.

In 2021, the global average temperature was 1.1°C above pre-industrial reference levels, according to the provisional version of the WMO report entitled State of the global climate in 2021the final version of which will be published on May 18.

Consecutive episodes of The girl of early and late 2021 brought a reduction in global temperatures, but that cooling effect is only temporary and does not reverse the long-term global warming trend. In addition, if an El Niño episode were to establish itself, it would cause an immediate rise in temperatures, as happened in 2016, the warmest year on record to date. At the moment, there are no indications that an El Niño episode will form in the quarter from December to February 2022/2023.

Compared to the average from 1991 to 2020, the Arctic temperature anomaly is projected to be more than three times the global average anomaly.

precipitation

The rainfall pattern forecast for 2022 suggests a greater probability of drier conditions in southwestern Europe and southwestern North America, and higher rainfall in northern Europe, the Sahel, northeastern Brazil, and Australia.

Compared to the average from 1991 to 2020, the average rainfall forecast between May to September of the next five years suggests a higher probability of wetter conditions in the Sahel, northern Europe, Alaska and northern Siberia, while in the Amazon region conditions will be drier.

For the period of November to March between 2022/2023 and 2026/2027 there will be more rain in the tropics and reduced precipitation in the subtropics, conditions consistent with the projected effects of a warming climate.

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