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| Last Updated:17/05/2024

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Next 5 years could be hottest ever globally, warns UN weather agency (Source: The Economic Times 18.05.2023)


                  Global temperatures are likely to surge in the next five years, making 2023-27 the warmest five-year period ever recorded, and there is a 98% chance of at least one of these years beating the temperature record set in 2016 and temporarily breaching the 1.5 degree C mark above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) average, the World Meteorological Organisation said Wednesday.


                 It noted that the temperature surge will be fuelled by heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) and naturally occurring El Nino (unusual warming of waters in eastern Pacific Ocean). Typically, El Nino increases global temperatures in the year after it develops - in this case, it's likely to be 2024.


                 In its state of climate update, released in Geneva, WMO said there is a 66% chance of average temperatures in one or more years between 2023 and 2027 to "temporarily" go higher than 1.5 degree C above pre-industrial levels.


Prepare for a warming El Nino: WMO


                 The World Meteorological Organisation on Wednesday warned the global community to get ready for the "upcoming challenges" of a warming El Nino, which is expected to develop in the coming months, combining with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into "uncharted territory".


               "This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and environment. We need to be prepared," said WMO secretary general Petteri Taalas while releasing the UN body's new state of the climate report. The report underlined that the annual mean global near-surface temperature for each year between 2023 and 2027 is predicted to be between 1.1 degree C and 1.8 degree C higher than the 1850-1900 average.


            "This report does not mean that we will permanently exceed the 1.5 degree C level specified in the Paris Agreement which refers to long-term warming over many years. However, WMO is sounding the alarm that we will breach the 1.5 degree C level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency," Taalas said. The Paris Agreement sets long-term goals to guide all nations to substantially reduce GHG emissions to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 2 degree C while pursuing efforts to limit the increase even further at 1.5 degree C, to avoid or reduce adverse impact and related losses and damages. Besides increasing global temperatures, human-induced GHGs also lead to more ocean heating and acidification, sea ice and glacier melt, sea level rise and more extreme weather.