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World temperature will remain at least 1 degree warmer for the next five years

Until 2025, the average temperature on Earth will remain at least 1 degree warmer than the average in the second half of the 19th century. Moreover, there is a one in five chance that the temperature in one of those years will be 1.5 degrees above the average of that pre-industrial era for the first time. These are the main conclusions from the annual climate forecasts of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

In the Paris climate agreement, almost the entire world agreed in 2015 to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees and to strive for a maximum of 1.5 degrees of warming. “This study demonstrates – with a high degree of scientific quality – the enormous challenges of meeting the Paris climate goals,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

The average global temperature is already 1.1 degrees higher than the average in the period 1850-1900, the WMO reported in January. It also turned out that the past five years had been the hottest years on average since the measurements began. The WMO now says that the world temperature in the next five years is very likely to be between 0.91 and 1.59 degrees above that of the pre-industrial era.

‘Corona crisis not an alternative to climate policy.’

The effect of the corona pandemic has not been included in the calculations. Taalas warns governments that the economic crisis and reduced industrial activity cannot replace a sustainable climate policy. “They should seize this opportunity to make climate policy part of the recovery programs. Failure to address climate change has threatened the wellbeing of people, ecosystems, and economies for centuries.”

The research was conducted under the direction of the Met Office, the British counterpart of the KNMI. According to the WMO, the British took advantage of the expertise of leading climate scientists and their best computer models.