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Warming of 1.5C in 5 years

Warming of 1.5C in 5 years 9 July 2020

Global warming edges closer to Paris Agreement 1.5C limit (via Carbon Brief)

By Prof Richard Betts

The latest forecast from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) suggests that over the next five years there is a 24% chance of the global average temperature exceeding 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year.

While this is another reminder of the Earth’s rising temperatures, it is important to note that it would not mean that the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal to limit warming to 1.5C will have been breached.

This is because the warming limit refers specifically to long-term human-caused warming and not the added effect of natural fluctuations in the climate.

In this article, I delve into the details of the Paris Agreement 1.5C limit, showing why they matter and what the risks are if they are misconstrued.

Human-caused warming

Under the Paris Agreement, almost all the countries of the world have committed to “pursue efforts to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial”.

As a previous Carbon Brief guest post has noted, the Paris Agreement itself does not spell out explicitly how such temperature limits should be used in climate policy and practice. However, a common interpretation of this is that 1.5C refers here to the long-term global warming attributable to human influence – and not the added effect of natural climate variability.

Read the full story here...