Global temperatures to reach new extremes
A new update from the World Meteorological Organization paints a grim picture for global temperatures.
Over the next five years, temperatures are likely to surge to record levels. The surge is due to heat-trapping greenhouse gases and a naturally occurring El Niño event.
The organization says there is a 66 percent chance that the annual average near-surface global temperature between 2023 and 2027 will be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year. There is a 98% likelihood that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period as a whole, will be the warmest on record.
This does not mean that the planet will permanently exceed the 1.5°C level specified in the Paris Agreement but WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas says we will exceed that threshold with increasing frequency.
“A warming El Niño is expected to develop in the coming months and this will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory,” he said. “This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment. We need to be prepared.”
“Global mean temperatures are predicted to continue increasing, moving us away further and further away from the climate we are used to,” said Dr. Leon Hermanson, a Met Office expert scientist who led the report.