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Global temperature likely to breach 1.5°C threshold by 2027

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: WMO

 

Context: According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), global temperatures are now more likely than not to exceed the 1.5°C (2.7°F) warming threshold within the next five years.

 

About the Finding: WMO’s Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update highlights a 66% chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5°C by 2027 (than the average global temperature from 1850-1900), a significant increase from last year’s estimate of approximately 50-50 odds.

  • Threshold of 5°C: This threshold is critical to avoid the disastrous consequences of global warming, as warned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Hottest year: The WMO’s predictions also indicate a 98% chance that one of the next five years will be the hottest on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2016.

 

Reason for increased likelihood: El Niño, combined with human-induced climate change will contribute to higher global temperatures.

 

Significance: This represents the first time in history that surpassing 1.5°C is considered more probable than not, thus indicating an alarming trend.

 

Impact on India: The increased temperature will likely lead to lower monsoon rainfall. Hotter oceans also contribute to stronger cyclones (e.g., Cyclone Mocha). India, with its reliance on rain-fed agriculture and a long coastline, will face significant challenges due to global climate changes.

 

Measures needed: Improving forecasting capabilities for cyclones and weather anomalies is crucial, but building resilience through investments in disaster-related infrastructure is equally important. India must prioritize infrastructure development to defend against the increasing threat of climate-related disasters.

 

About WMO:

The World Meteorological Organization (founded: 1950; HQ: Geneva; Parent organization: UN Economic and Social Council) is a specialized agency of the UN responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics.