The global average temperature would thus exceed the critical warming limit of 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial level for the first time. In 2015, the probability of this scenario was still 0 per cent, but in the same year, a global increase in the average annual temperature of one degree above the pre-industrial level was measured for the first time. So far, 2016 is considered the hottest year worldwide, with a global average temperature of 1.2 degrees above the pre-industrial level. According to the WMO, there is currently a 93 per cent chance that this record will be broken in the next five years.
Limit set in Paris climate agreement draws closer
The Paris Climate Agreement for the first time committed all countries worldwide under international law to develop and implement climate protection measures. Long-term targets were set to guide all nations to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 1.5 degrees at best and 2 degrees at worst compared to pre-industrial levels.
"This study shows with high scientific competence that we are temporarily measurably closer to the lower target of the Paris Climate Agreement. The 1.5°C figure is not a random statistic. Rather, it is an indicator of the point at which climate impacts become increasingly harmful to people and the planet as a whole," said WMO Secretary General Prof Petteri Taalas.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assumes that the 1.5 degree limit will probably be exceeded between 2030 and 2052 in a long-term view. This depends on how many more greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere by the global community in the coming years. However, if global emissions do not fall by 2025 at the latest, the two-degree target will probably not even be reached. At present, global warming over a period of 10 to 20 years can be estimated at around 1.2 degrees.