66% likelihood of temperatures reaching 1.5⁰C above normal in the next five years

Update from World Meteorological Organisation for 2023-2027 predicts possible exceeding of Paris Agreement limit

18 May 2023 by The Water Diplomat

On the 16th of May, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) announced that there is a 66% likelihood that the average global temperature between 2023 and 2027 will be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year.  There is also 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.

This information is contained in an annual update produced by the WMO which covers the period from 2023 to 2027. Current models predict that in the 2023-2027 period, the average temperature near the surface of the earth will be between 1.1⁰C and 1.8⁰C above the average for the years between 1850 and 1900, i.e. the pre-industrial period. Within this bandwidth from 1.1 to 1.8 degrees, there is a 66% chance that the average near surface temperature for the five year period will lie above 1.5 degrees (and by consequence a 33% chance that it will lie below it).

In addition, I is expected that the world could be facing temperature records in 2023 or 2024 due to the return of the El Niño weather pattern. The El Niño weather pattern is associated with a weakening of the trade winds blowing westward along the equator. This results in the eastward movement of warm water in the Pacific Ocean, which can have significant impacts on weather around the world. Already, the first four months of 2023 are the fourth warmest on record according to the European Copernicus climate monitoring programme.    

For 2023, WMO predicts reduced rainfall over Indonesia, the Amazon and Central America. Between May and September it expects an increased chance of above average rainfall in the Sahel, Northern Europe, Alaska and northern Siberia, as well as above average rainfall over Eurasia between December and February in 2023 through to 2027.