The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned on Wednesday that the 2023-2027 period will be the warmest on Earth under the combined effect of greenhouse gases and El Niño weather events.
In addition, global temperatures are expected to soon exceed the most ambitious target of the Paris Climate Agreement, the UN said.
“There is a 98% chance that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period as a whole, will be the warmest on record,” the WMO said. It also estimates a 66% chance that the average annual global surface temperature will rise by 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year over the next five years.
The 2015 Paris Agreement aims to limit global average temperature rise to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels from 1850 to 1900, and to 1.5°C above the same levels if possible.
The data released on Wednesday “does not mean we will permanently exceed the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit of long-term warming,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Talas underlined. liberation
“However, the WMO is sounding the alarm by announcing that the 1.5°C limit will be exceeded temporarily, and this more and more often”, he underlined. “An El Niño episode should develop in the coming months. Coupled with human-induced climate change, this will raise global temperatures to unprecedented levels,” the climate scientist said.
Furthermore, Finn stressed the need to be prepared, leaving no illusions about the seriousness of the situation, as “the consequences for health, food security, water management and the environment will be substantial”.
El Nino and La Nina
El Niño is a natural weather phenomenon usually associated with rising temperatures, increased drought in some parts of the world, and heavy rains in others. This last occurred in 2018-2019 and led to a particularly long episode of La Niña – nearly three years – that has the opposite effects, including a drop in temperatures.
In early May, the WMO estimated a 60% chance of El Niño forming by the end of July and an 80% chance by the end of September. As a general rule, this weather event causes global temperatures to rise the year after its occurrence, or 2024 for this cycle.
“We haven’t been able to contain warming yet, and we’re still going in the wrong direction,” Talas told a news conference Wednesday’s forecast. He estimates that it could take until the 2060s for the negative trend to phase out and for things not to get worse.
Despite the moderating effect of La Niña, 2016 was the warmest on record in the last eight years, and 2016 took the crown.
Greenhouse gases – The three main gases are CO2, methane and nitrous oxide – which are in record levels in the atmosphere, trapping heat and raising temperatures. “It could take thousands of years to get back to normal,” Talas said.
“None shall be saved”
“It will be a sad day when we pass 1.5C, but it’s no reason to give up,” said Leon Hermanson of Britain’s National Weather Service, the Met Office.
“We need to emit as few greenhouse gases as possible, any reduction in emissions will reduce global warming”, the meteorologist explains, “and no one will be spared by these changes”, which are already causing disasters and displacement of people.
In addition, predictions of extreme weather events are “still somewhat unknown,” but it is through these extremes that the impacts of climate change are felt.
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