UN forecasts even warmer temperatures over next 5 years

The annual mean global temperature is likely to be at least one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels in each of the next five years, the World Meteorological Organization said Thursday, AFP reports. 

The WMO said there was a 20 percent chance that it will exceed 1.5 C above 1850 to 1900 average levels in at least one year, according to its annual climate predictions for the coming five years.

The last five-year period has been the warmest five years on record, said the Geneva-based United Nations agency, which counts 193 member states.

Temperatures over the next five years, 2020 to 2024, are very likely to be within the range of 0.91 C to 1.59 C above pre-industrial levels.

Almost all regions, except parts of the southern oceans, are likely to be warmer than the recent past, which is defined as 1981 to 2010.

"This study shows -- with a high level of scientific skill -- the enormous challenge ahead in meeting the Paris Agreement on Climate Change target of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 C," said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas.

The 2015 Paris accord seeks to limit global temperature rises through sweeping cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The WMO forecasts do not take into account changes in greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions due to the shutdown of economic and industrial activity triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

The planet's average temperature is already more than 1.0 C warmer than the pre-industrial period, the WMO said.


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