A new forecast published by the Met Office indicates the annual global average temperature is likely to exceed 1°C during the next five years (2018-2022).
It also notes that there is a 10% chance that the temperature could reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels (1850–1900) for at least one year during that period. The 2015 Paris agreement requires us to limit warming well below 2°C and to aim for 1.5°C.
Prof Adam Scaife, Head of Long Range Prediction at the Met Office and member of the RMetS’ Climate Science Communication Group, commented: “These predictions show that 1.5 °C events are now looming over the horizon, but the global pattern of heat would be different to a more sustained exceeding of the Paris 1.5 °C threshold. Early, temporary excursions above this level of warming are likely to coincide with a large El Niño event in the Pacific. Continued greenhouse gas emissions leading to further warming would mean that the chances of seeing years at 1.5 °C or more would likely increase in future years.”
The Met Office’s decadal forecast is updated each year. Later this year the IPCC will publish a special report about the risks of exceeding the 1.5 °C warming level and how we can avoid it.
The full press release can be read here >>