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World will likely temporarily pass 1.5C climate limit by 2028: UN – World

Humanity now faces an 80 per cent chance that Earth’s temperatures will at least temporarily exceed the key 1.5-degree Celsius mark during the next five years, the UN predicted Wednesday.

The 2015 Paris climate accords, which set the ambitious target of limiting the world to a temperature increase of 1.5 C over pre-industrial levels, meant to refer “to long-term temperature increases over decades, not over one to five years”, the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation said.

The report came alongside another by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service announcing that last month was the hottest May on record, pointing to human-induced climate change — and spurring UN chief Antonio Guterres to compare humanity’s impact on the world to “the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs”.

The chance of temporarily exceeding the limit in the next five years ahead has been rising steadily since 2015, when such a chance was estimated to be close to zero, the UN’s weather and climate agency noted.

“There is an 80pc likelihood that the annual average global temperature will temporarily exceed 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for at least one of the next five years,” WMO said.

In 2023, the risk of temporarily breaching the limit within five years was estimated at 66pc.

Already, dramatic climate shifts have begun taking a heavy toll worldwide, fuelling extreme weather events, flooding and drought, while glaciers are rapidly melting away and sea levels are rising.

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