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

There is a 90% likelihood of at least one year between 2021-2025 becoming the warmest on record

A report from the World Meteorological Organisations (WMO) warned that there is a 40 per cent chance that global temperatures will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in the next five years. There is a 90 per cent likelihood of at least one year between 2021-2025 becoming the warmest on record, the report said.

The new report came ahead of the United Nations Climate Conference, 2021 (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in November.

The 2015 Paris Agreement had set a target of restricting globbal temperature rise to 1.5°C to avoid the catastrophic impacts of 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 pointed out that the 1.5°C limit could be crossed permanently in another decade or two. Last year was one of the 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, said WMO. Higher temperatures mean more melting of ice, higher sea levels and extreme climate change events like cyclones. But keeping to the 1.5°C limit will require dramatic efforts to cut carbon emissions by nearly half by 2030, the agency said.