In the next five years, the world has nearly a 1-in-4 chance of experiencing a year that’s hot enough to put the global temperature at 2.7 degrees (1.5 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial times, according to a new science update released Wednesday by the U.N., World Meteorological Organization and other global science groups.
That 1.5 degrees Celsius is the more stringent of two limits set in 2015 by world leaders in the Paris climate change agreement. A 2018 U.N. science report said a world hotter than that still survives, but chances of dangerous problems increase tremendously.
The report comes on the heels of a weekend of weather gone wild around the U.S.: Scorching heat, record California wildfires and two more Atlantic storms that set records for earliest 16th and 17th named storms.
Earlier this year, Death Valley hit 130 degrees (54.4 degrees Celsius) and Siberia hit 100 degrees (38 degrees Celsius).
The warming that has already occurred has “increased the odds of extreme events that are unprecedented in our historical experience,” Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh said.
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