A draft summary report by a United Nations scientific body said there is a “very high risk” that global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The 1.5-degree threshold (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), measured as the average worldwide temperature near the Earth’s surface, has become a consensus limit among scientists and a goal for policymakers.
Beyond that level, “climate change and climate change responses will affect people in countries at all levels of development, but those most at risk will be individuals and communities experiencing multidimensional poverty, persistent vulnerabilities and various forms of deprivation and disadvantage,” the draft report for policymakers reads.
The report was obtained Tuesday by Climate Home News. It has been available for weeks to scientific experts, and a final version is due for release in October.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is responsible for the report, warned that the draft is only preliminary.
“The text is highly likely to change between this draft and the final approved summary for policymakers,” spokesman Jonathan Lynn told The Washington Post.
The report estimated that at the current level of greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will reach the volume necessary for 1.5 degrees of warming within 12 to 16 years.