Climate change: Past five years were warmest on record, report warns

Predictions that this year is likely to be the hottest on record are almost certain to prove correct

Tom Bawden
Environment Editor
Wednesday 25 November 2015 17:26
Comments
"Every year we report a new record in greenhouse gas concentrations. Every year we say that time is running out"
"Every year we report a new record in greenhouse gas concentrations. Every year we say that time is running out"

The past five years have collectively been the warmest since records began as climate change pushes up temperatures around the world, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Predictions that this year is likely to be the hottest on record are almost certain to prove correct, the report warns ahead of a major United Nations climate change summit in Paris starting on Monday.

WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud said that he hoped the findings would remind world leaders of the importance of agreeing strong actions to tackle global warming.

He insisted that the UN target of limiting global warming to 2C is still possible, despite recent research showing that temperatures have already risen by 1C above pre-industrial levels, meaning the world is already halfway there.

“Yes, it is still possible to keep to 2C. But the more we wait the more challenging it will be – the actions will need to be even stronger and they will be even more expensive,” said Mr Jarraud.

The WMO report found that the temperature during the first nine months of this year has been 0.73C above the long term average of 14.0C and about 1C warmer than the period between 1880 and 1899. It also strengthened forecasts that next year will be even hotter than 2015.

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