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’50-50′ chance of breaching 1.5C global warming limit within five years

Likelihood of passing major environmental threshold has risen significantly, according to new research, raising the risk of failing on aims of the Paris climate agreement.

The UK Met Office has issued a grave warning that the world could be on course to break a key climate limit of keeping global warming to within 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

aerial view of San Francisco city during 2020 labor day fires

Although this would likely be temporary, experts have expressed concerns around the overall direction of temperatures across the planet, sounding alarms that 2022-2026 will almost certainly see the hottest year on record breaking previous records set during the period 2016 to 2020, with a 48% each of the next four years years will break the 1.5C threshold. 

Worldwide average temperatures it 1C above pre-industrial levels in 2015, with the past seven years maintaining that level, with major climate events becoming more common as result. This April saw countries such as India and Pakistan experience devastating heat waves, breaking all records for the time of year, with the prevalence of wildfires predicted to continue increasing

The Arctic region, which has disproportionately effected by the climate emergency, is seeing a significant reduction in sea ice levels as a result of rising temperatures. Meanwhile, ozone is heating the Antarctic Ocean at an alarming rate, with pollutants in the air such as carbon dioxide directly contributing to overall warming. 

Last year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow saw governments reiterate their commitment to keeping the 1.5C limit on global warming alive, which was originally outlined as an aim of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, with a maximum limit of 2C above pre-industrial levels. However, experts have warned that such an increase would have a catastrophic effect on Earth’s ability to support life. 

Image credit: Patrick Perkins

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