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    Record temperatures forecast over the next five years

    Credit: Belga

    The next five years could be the warmest ever recorded, according to a British weather service. 

    They Met Office say there is a risk the average temperature on Earth could rise by 1.5°C by 2024. 

    The service added that the temperature would be 1.06°C to 1.62°C higher than normal every year between 2020 and 2024 in their forecast for the next ten years. 

    2016 is currently the hottest on record, but that will “probably” be beaten during this period. 

    “The latest forecasts for the next five years suggest temperatures will continue to go up, in accordance with higher levels of greenhouse gases,” said forecaster Doug Smith. 

    “These forecasts are unpredictable, but most regions should see an increase,” Smith added, in particular Northern Europe, Asia and North America.  

    Unless there is a major volcanic eruption that would slow down global warming by blocking out the sun’s rays, the average temperatures should be between 1.15°C and 1.46°C higher than the pre-industrial era. 

    The average for 2015-2019, the hottest on record, was 1.09°C higher.  

    The Paris agreement on climate change aims to limit the temperature increase to 2°C compared to the pre-industrial era, ideally to 1.5°C by 2100. This would require drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity, which are currently continuing to increase.  

    The Met Office said there is a “small risk” (around 10%) that it will go above 1.5°C for one of the years between 2020 and 2024. But “temporarily going over 1.5°C is not an infringement of the Paris agreement,” said Stephen Belcher, Head of Science for the British weather service. 

    The scenarios drawn up by the UN climate experts (Giec) are based on a long-term increase in average temperatures, not just an increase for a single year. “Despite everything, the window of opportunity is getting smaller because our forecasts show a tendency for the average temperature to increase,” he warned. 

    The planet is subjected to the devasting impact of climatic disruption even if the average temperature increases by just a single degree, with an increase in the number and intensity of extreme weather events, storms during heatwaves and flooding. 

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times