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Rising temperature creates 'enormous challenge' for climate goals

Rising temperature creates 'enormous challenge' for climate goals

The annual mean global temperature is likely to be at least one-degree celsius above the levels it was before the industrial era in each of the ensuing five years and there is a chance that it may exceed 1.5 degrees in at least one year, according to an analysis published by the World Meteorological Organization.

The new assessment carried out by the UK's Met Office for the World Meteorological Organization, showed that the earth's average temperature is already over one-degree celsius above the pre-industrial period, which spans 1850-1900. The last five years have been the warmest years on record.

According to WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, the analysis underlines the enormous challenge in meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change target of keeping the global temperature rise in this century below two degrees Celsius.

The prediction showed that there is a 70 per cent chance that one or more months during the next five years will be at least 1.5 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels. There is, however, a 20 per cent chance that one of the next five years will be at least 1.5 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels, with the chances increasing over time.

In 2020, the Arctic is likely to have warmed by more than twice as much as the global mean, prediction by the WMO said. Southern Africa and Australia, where bushfires last year razed millions of acres, will be dryer than usual through 2024.

Over 2020-2024, sea-level pressure anomalies suggest that the northern North Atlantic region could have stronger westerly winds leading to more storms in western Europe.

By the next five years, almost all regions, except parts of the southern oceans, are likely to be warmer than the recent past, the predictions showed.

The assessment takes into account natural variations as well as human influence on the climate to forecast temperature, rainfall, and wind patterns over the next five years.

It, however, does not take into consideration changes in emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

"Due to the very long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, the impact of the drop in emissions this year is not expected to lead to a reduction of CO2 atmospheric concentrations which are driving global temperature increases," said Professor Taalas.

He added that even though Covid-19 caused a severe international health and economic crisis, failure to tackle climate change may threaten human wellbeing, ecosystems, and economies for centuries and hence governments should use the opportunity to embrace climate action.