The planet is moving closer to a global warming dangerous than 1.5 °C

Humanity will try more and more to the consequences of its dependence on fossil fuels in the coming years, due to the trend of global warming caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the earth’s atmosphere. The world meteorological Organization (WMO) sees even a rise that could reach momentarily a 1.5 °C over the next five years, the limit not to exceed to avoid the worst of the upheavals of the climate.

According to new forecasts climatological published Thursday by the WMO, the global average temperature of each of the next five years (2020-2024) should be greater than at least 1 °C above pre-industrial levels, that is, before the massive use of fossil fuels.

Over the next five years, “almost all parts” of the world should ” know your temperatures superior to those of past years. Already in 2020, ” the large areas of land in the Northern hemisphere should be aware of the temperatures of 0.8 °C to the values of the recent past “, i.e. the period 1981-2010. The warming of the Arctic “is likely to be more than two times higher than the world average” and ” many regions of South America, southern Africa and Australia expected to experience drier conditions than in recent years.”

The threshold of 1.5 °C

The trend to rising temperatures on the planet also means, according to the data of the WMO, the planet is 70% probability of ” one or more months of the next five years with temperatures in excess of at least 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. What’s more, ” the probability that the temperature of any of the next five years is at least greater than 1.5 °C in the pre-industrial value of about 20 %, but this probability increases over time “.

This means that humanity is approaching very quickly at the helm of a global warming that will reach and exceed, in a sustainable way, the 1.5 °C. However, this limit is the most ambitious, not to exceed, in the framework of the Paris Agreement on climate. And to meet this commitment made by the signatory countries, it would be necessary to operate a shift ” without precedent “, according to the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC). To achieve this, humanity would have to reduce its CO₂ emissions by at least 45 % by 2030, and then make it completely disappear by 2050.

The international community is, however, very far from the account, according to the IPCC. The current commitments of the States signatories of the Paris Agreement lead the world to an average temperature rise of over 3 °C. A situation that would cause an increase in extreme climatic events, a reduction of areas for cultivation and water resources in several regions, the influx of millions of climate refugees and the disappearance of panels of major of the world’s biodiversity.

Beyond the pandemic

The Secretary-general of WMO, Petteri Taalas, has also warned Thursday that the pandemic does nothing to change the trajectory of climate dangerous to the planet. “The WMO has repeatedly stressed that the slowdown of industrial and economic caused by the COVID-19 is not a substitute for sustainable action and co-ordinated in favour of the climate. Due to the very long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, the decrease in CO2 emissions this year should not lead to a reduction of atmospheric CO2 concentrations that are at the origin of the global temperature increase “, he explained by way of a press release.

“Of course, the COVID-19 has caused a serious crisis in health and economic in the world, but, if we don’t fight against the climate change, human well-being, ecosystems and economies could be threatened for centuries. Governments should seize this opportunity to include measures to combat climate change in their stimulus programs and to ensure that we were off on a better foundation, ” said Mr. Taalas.

According to a report produced at the request of the federal government and published in 2019, Canada is warming twice as fast as the global average. According to the official data, the average annual temperature in Canada has already increased by 1.7 °C since 1948. The average annual temperature in the whole of the north of the country has increased by 2.3 °C since this date. But the worst is yet to come, the report says.

Ottawa, however, will do more to meet its commitments in the fight against climate change. The measures taken in the context of the first mandate of the Trudeau government are expected to generate a decline of just 10 % of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by 2030. And even adding those that have been announced, the objectives of the Paris Agreement will not be achieved. During this time, Ottawa already acknowledges that the emissions of the oil sector will increase at least until 2030.

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