The annual mean global temperature is likely to be at least 1.5 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels in the next five years, according to new climate predictions issued by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
The Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, led by the UK’s Met Office has shown that the last five years have been the warmest on record, and according to their research, these trends are unlikely to change any time soon.
According to the predictions, there is a 70% chance that one or more months during the next 5 years will be at least 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels.
The researchers have also predicted that the Arctic is likely to have warmed by more than twice the global average in the next five years, which could have devastating impacts on global sea levels.
Based on this evidence, the researchers have highlighted the enormous challenge of achieving the Paris Agreement target of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius.
WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas has commented: ‘WMO has repeatedly stressed that the industrial and economic slowdown from COVID-19 is not a substitute for sustained and coordinated climate action.
‘Whilst COVID-19 has caused a severe international health and economic crisis, failure to tackle climate change may threaten human well-being, ecosystems and economies for centuries, governments should use the opportunity to embrace climate action as part of recovery programmes and ensure that we grow back better.’
Edward Hanrahan, chairman at ClimateCare also commented on the report: ‘This report provides a stark illustration of why Net-Zero targets cannot be as far out as 2050 and why all organisations must take full responsibility for their emissions, not in 30 years, not even in five years, but today.
‘If we are going to limit global warming and avoid catastrophic climate change, then we need to take full responsibility for our carbon emissions right now, as well as taking action to move to NetZero as quickly as possible.’
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