In next five years greenhouse gases may push global warming past threshold set by Paris deal
Wed 31 Jan 2018
Global temperatures could break through the internationally agreed upper 1.5C limit within the next five years, according to a forecast by British scientists that raises fresh questions about the world’s efforts to tackle climate change.
The Met Office forecasting service said that in the period from 2018-2022, annual global average temperatures are likely to exceed 1C above pre-industrial levels and could top the 1.5C threshold set as an aspiration by the global Paris climate change deal in 2015.
“It is now possible that continued warming from greenhouse gases along with natural variability could combine so we temporarily exceed 1.5C in the next five years,” said Stephen Belcher, chief scientist at the Met Office.
Global temperatures have been steadily rising over the past 20 years, and in each of the last three years averages have topped the 1C threshold. Last year was the second hottest on record, and the hottest not to have been given an additional boost by the El Niño effect.