The period 2023-2027 will almost certainly be the hottest ever recorded on the planet, due to the combined effect of greenhouse gases and the El Niño weather phenomenon, which are raising temperatures, the UN warned today.

In addition, global temperatures are expected to soon exceed the most ambitious target of the Paris climate agreements, warns the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“There is a 98% chance that at least one of the next five years, and that five-year period as a whole, will be the hottest that have ever been recorded”, underlined the PMO.

“Confidence in global mean temperature forecasts is high, because the forecasts show in retrospect that all measurements are very reliable,” the WMO points out.

In 2023, the temperatures on the planet are expected to be higher than the 1991-2020 average in almost all regions, with the exception of Alaska, South Africa, southern Asia and some parts of Australia, according to the WMO.

Some parts of the South Pacific will likely be cooler than average.

The agency estimates a 66% chance that the average annual temperature on the planet’s surface will exceed by 1.5 degrees Celsius pre-industrial levels during at least one of the next five years.

Read more: Climate change: Southern Europe prepares for another summer of intense drought

The data released today “does not mean that we will permanently exceed the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius of the Paris Agreement, which concerns a long-term increase in temperature over many years”, underlined the Secretary General of the WMO, Petri Taalas , according to the announcement.

“However, the WMO is sounding the alarm by announcing that the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius will be exceeded temporarily and this will happen more and more often”, he underlined.

“An El Niño episode is expected to develop over the coming months. Coupled with human-caused climate change, it will cause global temperatures to rise to levels never seen before,” this climate expert stressed.

To leave no illusions about the seriousness of the situation, the Finn insisted on need to prepare because “the impact on health, food security, water management and the environment will be significant”.

What is El Niño?

El Niño is a natural climate phenomenon generally associated with rising temperatures, increased drought in some parts of the world and heavy rains in others.

It last happened in 2018-2019 and gave way to a particularly long-lasting episode of almost three years, La Niña, which causes opposite effects and a drop in temperatures.

In early May, the WMO estimated that there was a 60% chance of an El Niño phenomenon developing by the end of July and an 80% chance of such a phenomenon by the end of September.

The general rule is that El Niño raises global temperatures in the year following its occurrence, i.e. 2024 in this cycle.

Although La Niña moderates this effect, the past eight years have been the warmest on record, and 2016 holds the record.

– Since the 1960s –