The Met Office has warned that at some point between now and 2023, the lowest target for global average temperature increases set by the Paris agreement could be reached, at least temporarily. In a five year forecast released yesterday, the organisation’s meteorologists said that there was a 10% chance that global warming (currently running at an increase in average global temperatures of 0.2C per decade) could combine with an El Niňo event to produce a year in which global annual temperatures were raised to 1.5C above pre-Industrial levels.
Although making clear that there was not a high likelihood of the 1.5C increase before 2023, the very fact that it was even a possibility was a cause for concern. Scientists also pointed out that unless greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly reduced, the likelihood of the 1.5C average temperature rise looks set to increase year on year.
More than half of all greenhouse gas emissions linked to human activities since the Industrial Revolution have occurred in the last 25 years. So although reduction is often talked about, the reality is that emissions are still rising and reached their highest level ever in 2018.