Environmental News from Europe:
The world faces a 50% chance of warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, if only briefly, by 2026, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday.
That does not mean the world would be crossing the long-term warming threshold of 1.5C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), which scientists have set as the ceiling for avoiding catastrophic climate change.
But a year of warming at 1.5C could offer a taste of what crossing that long-term threshold would be like.
“We are getting measurably closer to temporarily reaching the lower target of the Paris Agreement,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, referring to climate accords adopted in 2015.
The likelihood of exceeding 1.5C for a short period has been rising since 2015, with scientists in 2020 estimating a 20% chance and revising that last year up to 40%. Even one year at 1.5C of warming can have dire impacts, such as killing many of the world’s coral reefs and shrinking Arctic sea ice cover.
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