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Global Warming Could Pass 1.5° Celsius Within the Next Five Years

While the rise will most likely be temporary, according to a new WMO report, it’s a sign that the world is running out of time to reach climate goals.

Chile's Glaciers Harbor Vast Water Reserves And They're Melting
Photographer: Tomas Munita/Bloomberg

There’s about a 40% chance that the global average temperature for at least one of the next five years will be 1.5º Celsius higher than in pre-industrial times—and the odds are only going up. 

That level of temperature increase would most likely be temporary, according to an annual climate update led by the U.K. Met Office and published by the World Meteorological Organization. But the figure is significant because most global leaders committed to taking actions that would limit global warming to 1.5ºC and well below 2ºC by the end of the century when they signed the Paris Agreement in 2015.