Global temperature to temporarily reach above normal in one of next five years

Chances of global temperature temporarily getting closer to the 1.5 C threshold in the next five years have been predicted

There are chances of 50:50 that the annual average global temperature temporarily reaches 1.5 C (Celsius), which is above the pre-industrial level, at least in one of the next five years.

This is according to the new climate update issued by the World Meteorology Organization (WMO).

According to the Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, there is a 93% likelihood of at least one year between 2022-2026 becoming the warmest on record and dislodging 2016 from the top ranking.

The update from the WMO also states that the chance of global temperature temporarily exceeding 1.5 C has risen steadily since 2015. The chances for the year 2017 – 2021 were 10%, and the probability has increased to nearly 50% for the year 2022 – 2026 period.

Going by the Annual Report 2019 – 2020 of the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM) in Bhutan, rainfall and temperature are rising in Bhutan, with Tangmachu recording the highest daily maximum temperature at 38.5 C and Haa recording the lowest daily temperature at -11.5 C.

According to the Chief, Weather and Climate Division (WCSD) of the NCHM, Singay Dorji, the country observed an average of 2.6 C above the long-term normal temperature from 1996 till July (the second week of this year).

He said, “Since the start of July month there had been a short break of monsoon that occurred because of the low pressure causing monsoon drops.”

“Starting from the first week of July we had less rain as compared to other normal monsoon seasons, and caused above normal temperature.”

However, Singay Dorji said that it cannot be determined that the country is experiencing hot weather because of climate change as the temperature keeps on fluctuating in the monthly and annual reports though records show that the temperature has become slightly hotter as compared to the past years.

Singay Dorji said that the monsoon rain is expected in the coming weeks as the monsoon season falls from June – September, where 70% of the rain falls within these four months in the country.

On the environment front, Bhutan, since the Intended National Determined Contribution (INDC) and ratification of the Paris Agreement, has taken several measures towards a low emission and carbon resilient development, which include waste management and recycling industries being provided income tax holidays and exemption of sales tax and customs duties on plants and machinery.

Further, the Climate Change Policy of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2020 was also adopted with the vision of a prosperous, resilient, and carbon-neutral Bhutan, where the pursuit of Gross National Happiness for the present and future generations is secure under a changing climate.

Further, the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Policy and the Energy Efficiency Roadmap 2030 covering buildings, transport, and industries were launched in 2019 with the aim to facilitate improvements in productivity and energy efficiency.

An official from the National Environment Commission (NEC) said that to limit the global temperature increase, it is important to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change will have international and national risks in the natural and human system if the temperature keeps rising in the coming years,” the official said.

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu