66% chance world exceeds warming threshold before 2027, WMO says

66% chance world exceeds warming threshold before 2027, WMO says

A graphic depicts the World Meteorological Organization logo and 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming threshold. ZFJ/Illustration

May 18 (ZFJ) — There is a 66% chance that the annual global surface temperature will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels before 2027, said the World Meteorological Organization on Wednesday.

The UN weather agency also predicted that there is a 98% chance that one of the next five years will be the warmest on record.

“These new highs will be fuelled almost completely by the rise of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but the anticipated development of the naturally-occurring El Niño event will also release heat from the tropical Pacific,” said Dr. Leon Hermanson, a United Kingdom Met Office scientist who worked on the report.

Climate scientists emphasized that exceeding the threshold does not mean failing global climate goals but reinforces the continuing need for climate policies.

“This report does not mean that we will permanently exceed the 1.5 C level specified in the Paris Agreement which refers to long-term warming over many years,” said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas in a statement. “However, WMO is sounding the alarm that we will breach the 1.5 C level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency.”

The Paris Agreement, adopted by a UN climate conference in 2015, set 1.5 C as a global target limit for global warming compared to 1850 to 1900, which was before human industrial greenhouse gas emissions, in order to avoid more serious climate-related risks.

Rising global temperatures are expected to exacerbate ocean heating and acidification, sea ice and glacier melting, sea level rise, and extreme weather.

The chance that a year will exceed the warming limit has increased from 48% last year and from 10% in 2021.

In March, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that carbon emissions must be reduced by 65% compared to 2019 levels by 2035 in order to limit global warming to only 1.5 C.

The finding was reported in the WMO’s Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, which was produced by the Met Office.