BRUSSELS/GENEVA/BERLIN, June 5 (Xinhua) — The weather and climate agency of the United Nations (UN) on Wednesday called for immediate actions to address climate change, pointing to the findings of a report which predict a high likelihood of global temperatures surpassing a critical warming threshold.

There is an 80 percent chance that annual average global temperatures will exceed the 1.5-degree Celsius warming mark in at least one of the next five years, according to the Global Annual to Decadal Update from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The likelihood of breaching this threshold has steadily increased since 2015 when it was nearly zero, according to the WMO.

The latest prediction serves as another stark warning that the world is edging closer to the lower warming target set in the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels, with efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, said the Geneva-based climate agency.

The global mean near-surface temperature for each year between 2024 and 2028 is predicted to be between 1.1 and 1.9 degrees Celsius higher than the pre-industrial baseline, according to the report.

It is 86 percent likely that at least one year by 2028 will set a new temperature record, smashing the records set in 2023, the report added.

The 12-month period from June 2023 to May 2024 has been confirmed as the warmest on record, with temperatures 1.63 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). It also confirmed that last month was the warmest May on record globally, marking the 12th consecutive month of record-high global average temperatures.

“It is shocking but not surprising that we have reached this 12-month streak,” C3S Director Carlo Buontempo said in a statement. He noted that although this sequence of record-breaking months will eventually end, the overall pattern of climate change continues, with no signs of reversal in sight.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a video address marking World Environment Day on June 5 warned of “a climate hell.”

“It’s climate crunch time,” he said, emphasizing that “the need for action is unprecedented but so is the opportunity – not just to deliver on climate, but on economic prosperity and sustainable development.”

“We are way off track to meet the goals set in the Paris Agreement,” said WMO Deputy Secretary-General Ko Barrett. “We must urgently do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or we will face increasingly heavy economic costs, millions of lives affected by extreme weather, and extensive damage to the environment and biodiversity.”

Barrett acknowledged that global temperatures are likely to exceed the 1.5-degree level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency. However, she stressed that temporary breaches do not mean the 1.5-degree goal is permanently lost, as it refers to long-term warming over decades.


Even at the current level of global warming, the world has already experienced devastating climate effects. These include more frequent and intense heatwaves, extreme rainfall events and droughts, reductions in ice sheets, sea ice and glaciers, and accelerating sea level rise and ocean heating.

Germany, for example, is grappling with the aftermath of severe flooding that has resulted in the deaths of five people and left several others unaccounted for, following exceptionally heavy rainfall since last Friday.

Cyprus has been hit by scorching temperatures, which halted outdoor work on Wednesday. The country’s meteorological department issued an orange warning for extreme heat, forecasting maximum temperatures of around 44 degrees Celsius inland and around 34 degrees Celsius in higher mountainous areas.

“It happens but it is unusual,” for this time of year, said Philippos Tymvios, director of the Department of Meteorology, as quoted by local news website Philenews. “These weather events could be linked to ongoing climate change with extreme weather patterns worldwide,” Tymvios added.