The global temperature is expected to exceed 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for the first time in the next five years, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned.
There’s a 66% chance that this temperature will be recorded at least once by 2027 – which would mark the first time in human history.
Almost every country in the world has committed to trying to limit warming to no more than 1.5°C above pre-mass industry levels. They did this when they signed the historic Paris climate agreement at the COP21 climate conference.
If a temperature rise of 1.5°C is recorded, it would not mean that the world has definitely exceeded the threshold.
The global average temperature would need to exceed 1.5°C several times before the climate could be said to have warmed permanently to that level.
The WMO also said there was a 98% chance that the hottest year on record would be exceeded during this period.
Dr Leon Hermanson of the Met Office Hadley Center, one of the experts who led the report, said: “We have never crossed 1.5C. The current record is 1.28C.
“It’s very likely that we will exceed that, we could even reach 1.5°C – more likely than not we will.
“It’s not that long-term warming that the Paris Agreement talks about, but it’s an indication that as we start to get those years, with 1.5°C happening from more and more often, we are getting closer and closer to the true long-term climate being on that threshold.
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