40pc chance Earth to be hotter than Paris goal soon

Associated Press/ UNB . New York | Published: 12:46, May 28,2021


Environmental activists of Extinction Rebellion Youth group form a chain to block one of the main street in the city centre in Warsaw, on May 24, 2021, to draw public attention to the climate crisis and global warming. — AFP photo

There’s a 40 per cent chance that the world will get so hot in the next five years that it will temporarily push past the temperature limit the Paris climate agreement is trying to prevent, meteorologists said.

A new World Meteorological Organisation forecast for the next several years also predicts a 90 per cent chance that the world will set yet another record for the hottest year by the end of 2025 and that the Atlantic will continue to brew more potentially dangerous hurricanes than it used to.

For this year, the meteorologists say large parts of land in the Northern Hemisphere will be 0.8 degrees Celsius warmer than recent decades and that the US Southwest’s drought will continue.

The 2015 Paris climate accord set a goal of keeping warming to a few tenths of a degree warmer from now. The report said there is a 40 per cent chance that at least one of the next five years will be 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial times – the more stringent of two Paris goals. The world is already 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times.

Last year, the same group forecasted a 20 per cent chance of it happening.

The doubling of the odds is due to improvements in technology that show it has ‘actually warmed more than we thought already,’ especially over the lightly-monitored polar regions, said Leon Hermanson, a climate scientist at the United Kingdom’s Met Centre who helped on the forecast.

‘It’s a warning that we need to take strong action,’ Hermanson said.

Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, who wasn’t part of the report, said he is ‘almost certain’ the world will exceed that Paris warming threshold at least once in the next few years. But he said one or two years above 1.5 degrees Celsius isn’t as worrisome as when the overall trend of temperatures stays above that level.

Mann said that won’t happen probably for decades and could still be prevented.

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