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Global temperatures likely to temporarily breach critical 1.5°C level



The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned of an almost 50 percent chance that global temperatures will temporarily exceed the critical 1.5°C level set by the Paris Agreement.

"I think the world is bracing for unprecedented heat, as indicated in the report we published", the WMO's Head of climate prediction services Wilfran Moufouma Okia told CGTN. "We have a 90 percent chance for the next five years to be warmer than the past five years."

"We have 90 percent chance for at least, one of the years in the next five years to be the warmest on record," he continued "In the next five years, we will beat the 2023 year in terms of record heat."

The report warns that there is an 80 percent chance that at least one of the next five years will exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, a benchmark set by the 2015 Paris Agreement as the threshold of concern to prevent irreparable climate change. The report further warns that there's a 47 percent likelihood that each of the coming five years will surpass the 1.5°C threshold.

The WMO Short-term said its annual warming did not in itself equate to "a permanent breach of the lower 1.5°C Paris Agreement goal."

"We are playing Russian roulette with our planet," said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres following the release of the report. "We need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell."

"The good news is that we have control of the wheel.  The battle to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees will be won or lost in the 2020s – under the watch of leaders today."

Climate protesters march in Boston. /CFP
Climate protesters march in Boston. /CFP

Climate protesters march in Boston. /CFP

According to the Copernicus Climate Change ERA5 dataset, the 12-month period from June 2023 – May 2024 has sat at 1.63°C above the 1850–1900 pre-industrial average.

"Behind these statistics lies the bleak reality that we are way off track to meet the goals set in the Paris Agreement," said WMO Deputy Secretary-General Ko Barrett. "We must urgently do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or we will pay an increasingly heavy price in terms of trillions of dollars in economic costs, millions of lives affected by more extreme weather and extensive damage to the environment and biodiversity."

Barret added: "WMO is sounding the alarm that we will be exceeding the 1.5°C level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency."

The WMO is a United Nations agency tasked with international cooperation in meteorology and climate and has been tracking efforts by member states to abide by the Paris Agreement. The pact commits countries to limit global warming to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, vying to keep levels at 1.5°C or lower.

Global temperatures likely to temporarily breach critical 1.5°C level

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Source(s): Reuters
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