by Seth Borenstein | The Associated Press
With the world creeping closer to the warming threshold, international agreements are trying to thwart, there is a roughly 50-50 chance that Earth will temporarily hit that temperature mark within the next five years, according to meteorologists around the world. The teams have made predictions.
With human-caused climate change continuing, there is a 48 percent chance that the globe will drop an annual average of 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) between now and 2026 at least once from pre-industrial levels in the late 1800s. , a bright red signal in Climate Change Talks and Science, a team from 11 different forecasting centers predicted for the World Meteorological Organization late Monday.
Along with the thermometer the odds are rising as well. Last year, those same forecasters put the odds closer to 40% and a decade ago it was only 10%.
The team, coordinated by the United Kingdom’s Office of Meteorology, said in its five-year general outlook that there is a 93% chance that the world will record the hottest year on record by the end of 2026. He also said that there is a 93% chance that the five years from 2022 to 2026 will be the warmest on record. Forecasters also predict that the devastating fire-prone megadrought in the US Southwest will continue.
“We are going to see continued warming in line with expected warming with climate change,” said Leon Hermanson, senior scientist at the UK Met Office.
These forecasts are global and regional climate forecasts on annual and seasonal time scales based on long-term averages and state-of-the-art computer simulations. They differ from increasingly accurate weather forecasts which predict how hot or wet a certain day will be in specific locations.
But even if the world hits that mark of 1.5 degrees by pre-industrial times—the world has already warmed by about 1.1 degrees (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 1800s—this is the first global limit set by international negotiators. is not the same as. 2015 Paris Agreement. In 2018, a major UN science report predicted dramatic and dangerous effects on people and the world if warming exceeds 1.5 degrees.
Many scientists said the global 1.5 degree threshold is about the world warming not for one year, but over a 20- or 30-year period. This prediction is not made in the report. Hermanson said meteorologists can only tell when Earth hits that average mark year, perhaps a decade or two, after it actually gets there because it’s a long-term average.
“It’s a reminder of what the average will be in a few years,” said Cornell University climate scientist Natalie Mahowald, who was not part of the forecast teams.
The prediction makes sense given how warm the world is already and is expected to cause an additional tenth of a degree Celsius (about two-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit) over the next five years due to human-caused climate change, climate scientist Zeke Hausfather said. Tech companies Stripe and Berkeley Earth, which were not part of the forecasting teams. Add to this the prospect of a strong El Nio – the natural periodic warming of parts of the Pacific that alters the world’s weather – which could temporarily toss the top one tenth of a degree and the world warms to 1.5 degrees .
The world is in a second straight year of La Nia, in contrast to El Nio, which has little global cooling effect, but not enough to counteract the overall warming of the heat-trapping gases released by the burning of coal, oil and coal. natural gas, the scientists said. The five-year forecast says that La Nia is likely to end by the end of this year or in 2023.
The greenhouse effect from fossil fuels is like putting global temperatures on a rising escalator. Scientists said that El Nio, La Nia and some other natural weather changes are like stepping up or down on that escalator.
On a regional scale, the Arctic will still be three times warmer than the world on average during the winter. While the American southwest and southwestern Europe are expected to be drier than normal over the next five years, wetter than normal is expected for the often dry Sahel region of Africa, northern Europe, northeastern Brazil and Australia, the report prophesied in.
Hermanson said the global team has been making these predictions informally for a decade and formally for nearly five years, with more than 90% accuracy.
NASA’s top climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said the figures in this report are “slightly warmer” than those from the US NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He also had doubts about skill level on long-term field predictions.
“Despite what is predicted here, we are likely to exceed 1.5°C over the next decade, but that does not mean we are committed to it in the long term – or to minimize further change. working is not worthwhile,” Schmidt said in an email.