Last year was one of the hottest summers ever and Europe witnessed severe heat waves which led to 20,000 heat-related deaths, wildfires and droughts.
The heat wave situation this year is not any better and now the United Nations' meteorological body has warned that global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years.
Fuelled by heat-trapping greenhouse gases and a naturally occurring El Nino event, Global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years, an update issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) read.
Global temperatures are set to reach new records in the next five years, according to #StateofClimate update from @WMO and @metoffice— United Nations (@UN) May 17, 2023
We need urgent #ClimateAction now!https://t.co/Me84v2bzUG pic.twitter.com/f71MYswHaM
WMO forecasts a 66% likelihood that between 2023 and 2027, the planet will have a year that averages 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the mid 19th century.
The 2015 Paris climate agreement had set 1.5 degrees Celsius as a global threshold in global warming, and countries had pledged to try to prevent that from happening.The global mean temperature in 2022 was 1.15C above the 1850-1900 average.
"There is a 66% likelihood that the annual average near-surface global temperature between 2023 and 2027 will be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year. There is a 98% likelihood that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period as a whole, will be the warmest on record," The WMO report reads.
The report says that a warming El Nino is expected to develop in the coming months and this will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory.
"This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment. We need to be prepared," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
El Nino usually increases global temperatures in the year after it develops. Which means if it develops this year, 2024 is going to be the hottest year ever. The current hottest year on record is 2016, which also followed an El Nino event.
The warmest eight years on record have all been from 2015 onwards. Other than the El Nino effect, the greenhouse gases have been the major contributor in the rise of global temperatures.
The three major greenhouses gases are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Heat gets trapped in the atmosphere by these gases.
The WMO Secretary-General said that the recent report does not mean that we will permanently exceed the 1.5 degrees Celsius level. However, WMO is sounding the alarm that we will breach the 1.5 degrees Celsius level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency.
There is only a 32% chance that the five-year mean will exceed the 1.5 degrees C threshold, according to the Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update produced by the United Kingdom's Met Office, the WMO lead centre for such predictions.
The chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5 degrees C has risen steadily since 2015, when it was close to zero. "Global mean temperatures are predicted to continue increasing, moving us away further and further away from the climate we are used to," said Dr Leon Hermanson, a Met Office expert scientist who led the report.
Over the past 50 years, the global temperature has experienced a noticeable and consistent upward trend. The global average surface temperature has increased by approximately 0.13 degrees Celsius (0.23 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since the 1970s. This means that the Earth's surface has warmed by about 0.65 degrees Celsius (1.17 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 50 years.
According to the data compiled by various climate organizations, including NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), many of the hottest years on record have occurred in recent decades, with 2020s being one of the warmest.
The rate of temperature increase in the Arctic has been approximately twice as fast as the global average over the past few decades. This rapid warming has led to the shrinking of sea ice, melting of glaciers, and causing significant implications for ecosystems and indigenous communities.
The rising global temperatures have contributed to changes in weather patterns and an increase in extreme weather events. Heatwaves have become more frequent and intense in many parts of the world, with longer durations and higher peak temperatures. Heavy rainfall events and flooding have become more common in some regions.