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World at risk of hitting 1.5C tipping point during next five years, warns WMO

There is a 90 per cent likelihood of at least one year between 2021-2025 becoming the warmest on record, according to the WMO

A report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned that there is a 40 per cent chance that global temperatures will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C) above pre-industrial levels in the next five years.

The report says that there is a 90 per cent likelihood of at least one year between 2021-2025 becoming the warmest on record. 1.5°C is the minimum temperature limit set in the 2015 Paris Agreement to avoid catastrophic climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had warned that a 1.5°C warming will be a menacing milestone in the warming of the planet. WMO also points out that the 1.5°C limit could be crossed permanently in another decade or two.

The year 2020 was one of the three warmest years and 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record. In 2020, the global average temperatures were about 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels and this was despite the cooling effect of La Nina in 2020, says WMO.

Higher temperatures mean more melting of ice, higher sea levels and extreme climate changes like cyclones but keeping to the 1.5°C limit will require dramatic efforts to cut carbon emissions by nearly half by 2030.

The recent pledges by developed countries to cut emissions will still heat the planet by up to 3°C.The new report comes before the CoP26 climate change summit to be held in Glasgow in November.

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