The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has revealed that Earth has a 50:50 likelihood of momentarily exceeding the 1.5°C warming benchmark at least once in the next five years.
Between 2017 and 2021, there was only a 10% risk of breaching the benchmark of 1.5 °C, according to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
WMO amended that number in a new climate update released Tuesday, stressing that there's now a 50% probability the benchmark of 1.5 °C would be crossed at least once between 2022 and 2026.
Furthermore, one of those years has a 93% chance of being the hottest on record.
Dr. Leon Hermanson, the Met Office's lead researcher, believes the limit could be reached at any time throughout that time frame.
"Our most recent climate projections show that global warming will continue, with a likelihood that one of the years between 2022 and 2026 may reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels," he said.
He went on to say that a single year that exceeds 1.5°C does not imply that the Paris Agreement's symbolic benchmark has been crossed.
However, it does show that we are getting closer to a point where 1.5C could be surpassed over an extended period of time.
According to NASA, the earth's average temperature in 2021 will be tied with 2018 as the sixth warmest year on record.
Climate impacts would become extremely damaging for people and indeed the entire planet if the world warmed by 1.5°C, according to WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas.
The 1.5°C value, according to Taalas, is not a random number. Temperatures will keep rising as long as we continue to generate greenhouse emissions.
A significant United Nations science paper published in 2018 warned of drastic and grave consequences for people and the world if global warming exceeds 1.5℃.
Moreover, the oceans will continue to warm and become more acidic, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea level will rise, and the weather will become more intense.
Arctic heat is statistically higher, and what happens there has an impact on the rest of the world.
The latest projection, which has not been peer-reviewed, follows after a leading climate researcher stated that a permanent temperature rise of 1.5°C by the 2030s is very plausible.
The values in this research are a little warmer than those used by Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to top NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt.