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World has a 50% chance to warm up by 1.5°C by 2026 – 5/10/2022 – Environment

There is an almost 50% probability that the rise in temperatures from pre-industrial figures will temporarily exceed the 1.5°C threshold within the next five years, the UN said on Tuesday.

This does not mean that temperatures will stabilize permanently above the threshold, in the sense stipulated in the Paris Climate Agreement, which seeks to contain the rise in average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and, in as far as possible, that this increase remains below 1.5°C.

According to the new climate bulletin released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of the United Nations, the chances of exceeding +1.5°C have grown since 2015, when this risk was practically nil.

From 2017 to 2021, the probability was 10%, but it rose “to almost 50% in the period 2022-2026”, indicated the WMO. However, there is only a small probability (10%) that the average for this five-year period exceeds the threshold of +1.5°C.

“This study shows, with great scientific reliability, that we are significantly approaching the moment when we will temporarily reach the lower limit of the Paris Agreement. The 1.5º C figure is not a randomly chosen statistic. It indicates the point from which the effects of the climate will be more and more harmful for the populations and for the whole planet”, underlined the Secretary General of the WMO, Petteri Taalas.

The forecasts in this bulletin are based on data from the United Kingdom Weather Service (Met Office). The document indicates that it is very likely (93%) that at least one of the years between 2022 and 2026 will be the warmest on record (record held by the year 2016).

Leon Hermanson, from the Met Office, clarified that, although the 1.5°C limit will be exceeded in a year, this “does not mean that we will have surpassed the emblematic limit of the Paris Agreement”, but “it is a sign that we are approaching a scenario where the 1.5°C threshold could be exceeded for an extended period”.

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