Seth Barenstein | Associated Press
The world is approaching the warming threshold that international agreements are trying to prevent, with a nearly 50-50 chance that the Earth will temporarily reach this temperature mark over the next five years, meteorological groups around the world predict.
Due to the continuation of man-made climate change, the probability that the globe will reach an average annual temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial level of the late 1800s at least once in the period from now to By 2026, a bright red signal in talks on climate change and science, a team from 11 different forecast centers forecast for the World Meteorological Organization late Monday.
The chances are growing along with the thermometer. Last year, the same forecasters put the odds closer to 40%, and ten years ago – only 10%.
The team, coordinated by the UK Meteorological Office, in its five-year overall forecast said the probability that the world would set a record for the hottest year by the end of 2026 was 93%. The five years from 2022 to 2026 will be the hottest in history. Weather forecasters also predict that the devastating fire-hazardous megadrought in the southwestern United States will continue.
“We will see continued warming in line with what is expected due to climate change,” said Leon Hermanson, a senior British metro scientist who coordinated the report.
These forecasts are a broad picture of global and regional climate forecasts in annual and seasonal time scales, based on long-term averages and current computer simulations. They differ from increasingly accurate weather forecasts that predict how hot or wet a particular day will be in certain locations.
But even if the world reaches 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times – since the late 1800s the globe has warmed by about 1.1 degrees (2 degrees Fahrenheit) – it’s not quite the same as the world’s threshold , first established by international negotiators in the 2015 Paris Agreement. In 2018, a major scientific report by the United Nations predicted dramatic and dangerous consequences for people and the world if warming exceeds 1.5 degrees.
A world threshold of 1.5 degrees is something that the world will be so warm not in one year, but in a 20- or 30-year period, several scientists have said. This is not what the report predicts. Meteorologists can only say when the Earth reaches that average in a year, maybe ten or two years, after it really is reached, because that’s a long-term average, Hermanson said.
“This is a warning that in a few years it will be just average,” said Natalie Mahawald, a climatologist at Cornell University who was not in the forecast group.
The forecast makes sense given how warm the world is already, and an additional tenth of a degree Celsius (nearly two-tenths of a Fahrenheit) is expected due to human-induced climate change over the next five years, said climatologist Zack Hausfater of technology company Stripe and Berkeley Earth. , which was not included in the forecast group. Add to that the likelihood of strong El Niño – the natural periodic warming of parts of the Pacific that changes the world’s weather – that could temporarily drop another couple of tenths of a degree, and the world would rise to 1.5 degrees.
The world is the second year in a row La Nino, the opposite of El Niño, which has little effect of global cooling, but is not enough to withstand the general warming of gases that contain heat emitted by burning coal, oil and natural gas, scientists say. The five-year forecast says La Nina is likely to end later this year or in 2023. The greenhouse effect from fossil fuels is similar to rising global temperatures on growing escalators. El Niño, La Nina and several other natural weather variations are similar to steps up or down this escalator, scientists say.
On a regional scale, the Arctic will continue to heat three times more in winter than the global average. While southwestern and southwestern Europe is likely to be drier than usual in the next five years, the often arid Sahel region of Africa, northern Europe, northeastern Brazil and Australia are expected to be wetter than usual. .
The global team has been making these predictions unofficially for ten years and formally for about five years, with an accuracy of more than 90%, Hermanson said.
NASA chief climatologist Gavin Schmidt said the figures in this report were “slightly warmer” than those used by NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He also had doubts about the level of qualifications in the long-term regional forecasts.
“No matter what is projected here, we are likely to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next decade or so, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re committed to it in the long run – or that we’re working to reduce further change not worth it, ”Schmidt said in an email.