The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released its climate projections for the next five years; and the news is, frankly, dire.
WMO publishes its global annual to decadal climate updates every year. The report aims to inform policy makers by providing climate projections for the next few years, in this case 2023 to 2027.
“This report does not mean that we will permanently exceed the 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) level set out in the Paris Agreement, which refers to multi-year long-term warming,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Tala S said. “However, the World Meteorological Organization is sounding the alarm that we will temporarily breach the 1.5 °C level with increasing frequency.”
The World Meteorological Organization’s warning comes with its forecast that there is a 98 percent chance that temperatures will exceed the hottest on record in at least one of the next five years. El Niño and climate change could drive the temperature spike.
“A warming El Niño is expected in the coming months, which will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory,” Taalas said. Governance and the environment have far-reaching consequences. We need to be prepared.”
El Niño occurs when sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean are significantly warmer than average, leading to changes in atmospheric circulation. More heat in the atmosphere and warmer ocean surface temperatures can lead to increased wind speeds in tropical storms and severely impact marine life along the Pacific coast.
In addition, the World Meteorological Organization predicts that Arctic warming is likely to be three times the global average. This is a question of concern to experts.
“For most of Earth’s history, Earth has been without polar ice caps,” said Chris Mays, a lecturer in paleontology at University College Cork, Ireland. “But the transition from an icy world (like today) to an ice-free world is usually much slower. We are moving towards an ice-free Earth, but the speed at which things are changing is reminiscent of the most extreme and destructive changes in Earth’s past.” warm event.”
In terms of rainfall, WMO forecasts point to increases in the Sahel, northern Europe, Alaska and northern Siberia, with decreases expected in the Amazon and parts of Australia.
In 2015, the chances of us exceeding 1.5°C were zero; since then, it has been steadily increasing. From 2017 to 2021, we have a 10% chance of exceeding the level set by the Paris Agreement. According to WMO’s latest projections, there is a 66% chance that global near-surface temperatures will exceed pre-industrial levels by 1.5 °C for at least one year between now and 2027, or even higher.
The WMO forecast has understandably raised concerns among experts.
“Predicting the next five years to be the hottest on record creates further problems for the health of people around the world,” said Bell Workman, a researcher at the Melbourne Climate Futures Institute at the University of Melbourne. There are multiple ways to negatively impact health, including the direct physical effects of heat waves, such as heat stroke, and the indirect effects of rising temperatures, such as making food and water insecure.”
Some emphasized the soundness of the science behind these predictions.
“In the past, the data combined ground and satellite measurements, covered the entire planet, and were thoroughly quality-controlled by meteorological agencies and scientific researchers around the world,” says Janette Lindesay of the Fenner School of Environment and Society in Australia. “Climate system modeling by 11 different institutions has been used to generate projections for the period 2023 to 2027, providing a high degree of confidence in the projections as they were replicated across different research groups.”
WMO global annual to decadal climate update now available here as a PDF.