donutmedialab.com — Human efforts to cool the Earth’s temperature face many challenges. The world faces a 50% chance of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2026 or in the next five years.
This prediction was submitted by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Quoted from Reuters, Tuesday (10/5/2022) the prediction does not mean the Earth’s temperature will pass 1.5 degrees Celsius, which scientists set as the highest threshold to avoid catastrophic climate change.
However, a year of warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius can offer an idea of what it’s like when we cross that long-term threshold.
“We are getting closer to achieving the lower targets of the Paris Agreement for the time being,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, referring to the climate agreement adopted in 2015.
The probability of exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius for a short time has increased since 2015. Scientists in 2020 predicted a 20% chance and revised it last year to 40%.
Even in one year of 1.5 degrees Celsius, warming could have dire effects such as killing much of the world’s coral reefs and shrinking Arctic sea ice.
In terms of long-term averages, global average temperatures are now about 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial averages.
“The loss and damage associated with, or exacerbated by, climate change is already occurring, some of which may be irreversible in the future,” said Maxx Dilley, deputy climate director at WMO.
World leaders pledged under the 2015 Paris Agreement to prevent crossing the long-term 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold, measured as a multi-decade average, but have so far failed to reduce climate-warming emissions. Today’s activities and current policies put the world on track to warm to around 3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
“It’s important to remember that once we reach 1.5 degrees Celsius, the lack of science-based emissions policies means that we will suffer worse impacts as we approach 1.6 degrees Celsius, 1.7 degrees Celsius, and any increase in warming thereafter.” said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology.