It’s becoming more likely that a key global temperature limit will be reached in one of the next five years.
A major study says by 2025 there’s a 40% chance of at least one year being 1.5C hotter than the pre-industrial level.
That’s the lower of two temperature limits set by the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The conclusion comes in a report published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The analysis is based on modelling by the UK Met Office and climate researchers in 10 countries including the US and China.
In the last decade, it was estimated that the chance of any one year reaching the 1.5C threshold was only 20%.
Leon Hermanson, a senior Met Office scientist, told BBC News that comparing projected temperatures with those of 1850-1900 shows a clear rise.
“What it means is that we’re approaching 1.5C – we’re not there yet but we’re getting close,” he said.
“Time is running out for the strong action which we need now.”
The researchers point out that even if one of the next five years is 1.5C above the pre-industrial level, it’ll be a temporary situation.
Headline photo courtesy: Luis Graterol