ncrease likelihood of rising global warming in next five years: WMO

New Delhi, May : Cyclones in India are occurring more frequently and getting more intense by the rapidly heating Indian Ocean because of global warming, with severe repercussions for the country, say scientists.

And now the World Meteorological Organization warns that during the next five years, the annual mean global temperature might be at least 1 degree Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels and could be 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer.

On Thursday, the WMO predicted that there is a 40 per cent chance that the annual average global temperature temporarily reaches 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level in at least one of the next five years –and these odds are increasing with time.

It is still very unlikely that the annual temperature of the next five years will be 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, but the possibility has now roughly doubled, the UN weather watcher said.

The WMO’s annual update said that the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is unlikely to be met, as 2020 saw global temperature spiraling up by 1.2 degrees Celsius compared to the 19th Century.

“This study shows — with a high level of scientific skill — that we are getting measurably and inexorably closer to the lower target (2 degrees Celsius) of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

Global warming might have dire consequences such as higher risks of tropical cyclones, rising sea levels, extreme weather and worsening impacts on socio-economic development, according to the WMO.

“These are more than just statistics,” said Taalas, highlighting grim outlooks in case of failure to contain temperature rise such as “greater impacts on food security, health, the environment and sustainable development.”

Earlier this month, cyclone Tauktae in the Arabian Sea battered India’s west coast. This week, another severe storm, Cyclone Yaas, formed in the Bay of Bengal, forced lakhs of people to evacuate to safe shelters in Odisha and West Bengal.

India is vulnerable, say experts, as 14 per cent of its nearly 1.4 billion people live in coastal areas, and those living in coastal areas below 10 metres elevation is forecast to rise three-fold by 2060.


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