Jakarta: 2020 is on track to be one of the three hottest years on record, completing a run of six years that were all hotter than any year ever measured before, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
According to the agency, the relentless rise of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere – a phenomenon that has continued despite a travel lull during the pandemic – will fuel temperature rise for decades to come.
"The average global temperature in 2020 is set to be about 1.2 °C above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) level," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement on Wednesday.
"There is at least a one in five chance of it temporarily exceeding 1.5 °C by 2024," the WMO Secretary-General added.
The 1.5 degree threshold represents a milestone the world is trying not to reach: the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, backed by almost every country on earth, calls for keeping the global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial era levels.
To slow temperature rises, the world needs radical action and ountries must decrease production of fossil fuels by 6 per cent per year between 2020 and 2030.
In a landmark speech in New York on Wednesday, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres said the fight against the climate crisis was the top priority for the 21st Century.