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Met Office warns 50-50 chance temperatures will exceed 1.5°C threshold

THERE is a 50-50 chance that temperatures worldwide will exceed the key 1.5°C threshold for global warming in the next five years, a Met Office study warned today.

The annual update says that one of the years between 2022 and 2026 is very likely to be warmest on record, beating the current record set in 2016.

One of those years will probably see average temperatures exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, said the report produced for the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), a United Nations agency.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries pledged to limit the global temperature rise to 2°C and strive to keep it to 1.5°C above 19th-century levels to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change.

WMO secretary-general Professor Petteri Taalas said: “The 1.5°C figure is not some random statistic; it is rather an indicator of the point at which climate impacts will become increasingly harmful for people and indeed the entire planet.

“For as long as we continue to emit greenhouse gases, temperatures will continue to rise."

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