The likelihood of global temperatures exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7F) for the first time in the next five years is now very high, the World Meteorological Organization said in a statement.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement today that it is almost guaranteed that the next five years will be overwhelming. Climate change has already raised the planet’s core temperatures. Now, a weather pattern known as El Niño will warm the planet even more when it kicks in later this year. In this context, more severe drought and weather events will occur.
This one-two punch from El Nino and climate change is “expected to push global temperatures into unknown territory,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a press release. “This will have far-reaching implications for health, food security, water management and the environment. We need to be prepared,” he warned.
We’ll have the hottest year ever
According to the report released by WMO today, the probability of one of the next five years to be the hottest year on record is 98 percent. It is also stated in the report that there is a 98 percent probability that the average temperature for the entire five-year period will be warmer than the previous five years.
However, global temperatures are already starting to rise. The last eight years have been the hottest on record, the WMO reported in January. Only in the last few years have we witnessed the astonishing damage that extreme temperatures can bring. Among them, the first thing that comes to mind was the first time temperatures rose above 40 degrees Celsius in the UK, which is famous for being cool and cloudy in July of last year. China experienced the most severe heatwave on record last year. The most extreme summer heat wave ever recorded in North America caused severe havoc in 2021.
What is El Nino?
All this despite the mitigating effects of the rare and unusually prolonged La Nina, which lasted from September 2020 to March of this year. You can think of La Nina as the direct opposite of El Nino. La Nina is a weather pattern that has a cooling effect on the planet. El Niño temperatures are an event that occurs in the Pacific Ocean and has significant effects on the global climate. El Nino is causing the surface temperature to increase by about 0.5°C or more than normal in the eastern and central parts of the Pacific Ocean. This temperature increase has a global impact by changing ocean currents, atmospheric pressure and wind systems (Trades). El Niño climate events usually occur every 2 to 7 years and can last as long as 9 to 12 months.
According to estimates, El Nino will take shape between May and July and will last at least until winter. It is thought that it may take up to a year for El Nino to start affecting global temperatures. In other words, we can say that 2024 and beyond will be especially hot.
The frightening threshold will be crossed with a 66 percent probability
Currently, there is a 66 percent chance that between 2023 and 2027, for at least one year, the annual average global temperature will rise by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial era (i.e. before the burning of fossil fuels creates enough greenhouse gas pollution to warm the planet).
To be clear, 1.5 degrees warming is a big deal. The 2015 Paris climate agreement was passed to try to prevent the world from warming beyond this threshold. So far the planet has warmed about 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – which is the main driver of the more extreme weather we see today. The WMO predicts that the world will only temporarily exceed the 1.5 degrees target in the next five years.
The probability of crossing the critical threshold was 0 percent
“This report does not mean that we will permanently exceed the 1.5°C level stated in the Paris agreement, which refers to long-term warming over many years. However, the WMO gives the alarm that we will temporarily exceed the 1.5°C level with increasing frequency,” the WMO report said.
Not so much, 8 years ago, in 2015, the probability of the world experiencing warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius was almost zero. And in 2021 that probability was only 10 percent. In 2022, this rate was 50 percent. However, we live in a different world today and we can say that the Earth will become much more aggressive if we do not act quickly to combat climate change.