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World Could Reach 1.5C Danger Threshold In Next Five Years, Experts Warn

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World Could Reach 1.5C Danger Threshold In Next Five Years, Experts Warn

The world could reach the 1.5C danger threshold in the next five years, experts have warned.

Scientists at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have stated that the next five years could be crucial in turning the tide of the global climate crisis.

They estimate that there is a 40 percent chance that one of the coming years will record 1.5C hotter than the pre-Industrial average set out to avoid in the Paris Climate Agreement.

While there are examples of climate change impacting numerous communities and ecosystems, if experts are correct, this will be a sign that the threat is now global.

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The stark warning is made as part of the WMO's Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, which looks ahead to what we can expect to see regarding our climate in the 2020s.

As well as the danger threshold potentially being met, the WMO has also predicted that there is a 90 percent chance that one of the years between 2021 and 2025 will be the hottest on record, surpassing 2016.

The next five years could be crucial in turning the tide of the climate crisis. Credit: PA
The next five years could be crucial in turning the tide of the climate crisis. Credit: PA

It's now thought that the next El Niño phase - a climate pattern associated with warmer weather - will see the record broken.

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The report also states that in the coming five years, 'the annual mean global temperature is likely to be at least 1C warmer - within the range 0.9C - 1.8C - than preindustrial levels'.

Speaking about the predictions, WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas said in a statement that they should be taken very seriously.

He said: "These are more than just statistics. Increasing temperatures mean more melting ice, higher sea levels, more heatwaves and other extreme weather, and greater impacts on food security, health, the environment and sustainable development.

"This study shows - with a high level of scientific skill - that we are getting measurably and inexorably closer to the lower target of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

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"It is yet another wakeup call that the world needs to fast-track commitments to slash greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.

Petteri Taalas says the warning has to be taken seriously. Credit: PA
Petteri Taalas says the warning has to be taken seriously. Credit: PA

"Technological advances now make it possible to track greenhouse gas emissions back to their sources as a means of precisely targeting reduction efforts."

According to a study earlier this year, scientists claimed that summer in the Northern Hemisphere could last as long as six months by 2100.

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Researchers predict that if nothing is done to help counteract greenhouse gas emissions, summers could reach half a year in length by the end of this century, with winter lasting less than two months.

In the study, which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists looked at the changes in the length of seasons across the Northern Hemisphere, examining climate data ranging from 1952 to 2011.

For each year, the team identified the onset of summer by finding out the period that had the highest 25 percent of temperatures, with winter seasons identified by periods with the lowest 25 percent of temperatures.

They found that summers grew from 78 days to 95 days, while other seasons shrunk - with winters reducing from 76 days to 73, autumn from 87 days to 82 and spring from 124 days to 115.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, Weather, World News, Pollution, climate change, Technology

Dominic Smithers
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