World simply ‘not on track’ to slow climate change this year: UN weather agency

NASA The Earth, an image created from photographs taken by the Suomi NPP satellite.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The world is heading in the wrong direction to slow climate change after another year of near-record temperatures, the head of the UN’s weather agency said on Thursday.

“We are not on track to meet climate change targets and rein in temperature increases,” said Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

We are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it – WMO chief  Petteri Taalas

“Greenhouse gas concentrations are once again at record levels and if the current trend continues we may see temperature increases 3-5 degrees centigrade by the end of the century. If we exploit all known fossil fuel resources, the temperature rise will be considerably higher,” he said.

Data from five independent global temperature monitors which formed the basis of the latest annual WMO Statement on the State of the Climate report, indicated that this year is on course to be the fourth highest on record.

Worryingly, the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years.

“It is worth repeating once again that we are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it,” Professor Taalas said.

The WMO Secretary-General’s comments support the findings of another authoritative global body, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In its report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, it concluded that the average global temperature in the decade prior to 2015 was 0.86 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels.

‘Every fraction’ of warming ‘makes a difference to human health’

Between 2014-2018, however, this average has risen to 1.04 degrees centigrade above the pre-industrial baseline, IPCC’s experts said.

“These are more than just numbers,” said WMO Deputy Secretary-General, Elena Manaenkova, noting that “every fraction of a degree of warming makes a difference to human health and access to food and fresh water”.

The extinction of many animals and plants also hinged on global warming, the WMO official insisted, along with the survival of coral reefs and marine life.

“It makes a difference to economic productivity, food security, and to the resilience of our infrastructure and cities,” Ms Manaenkova said. “It makes a difference to the speed of glacier melt and water supplies, and the future of low-lying islands and coastal communities. Every extra bit matters.”

WMO’s report adds to the scientific evidence that will inform climate change negotiations from 2-14 December in Katowice, Poland.

The key objective is to adopt the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which aims to hold the global average temperature increase to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees centigrade.

This target is possible, according to the IPCC, but it would require “unprecedented changes” in our lifestyle, energy and transport systems.

Highlighting the economic impact of higher global temperatures, WMO noted that many countries were increasingly aware of the potential problems.

This included in the United States, where a recent federal report detailed how climate change is already affecting the environment, agriculture, energy, land and water resources, in addition to transport, people’s health and welfare.

A just-published United Kingdom assessment also warned that summer temperatures could be up to 5.4 degrees centigrade hotter, and summer rainfall could decrease by up to 47 per cent by 2070.

In Switzerland, famed for its mountains and skiing, national weather experts warned earlier this month that the country is becoming hotter and drier. In addition, it is expected to struggle with heavier rainfall in the future – and less snow.

Check out our comprehensive explainer story ahead of the key COP24 UN climate change conference which starts this weekend. It’s got everything you need to know.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Estonia is making public transport free

The Japanese idea of ‘chowa’ – and how Asia can thrive in the future

EU tells Britain stay in as long as you wish

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Argentina Accepts KP Amendment

Europe’s poor investment in digital is threatening prosperity. Here’s what its start-ups need

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May at last week’s EU Council. Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte

EU leaders open “Phase Two” of Brexit talks and warn Theresa May of tougher times

From UN Assembly podium, Central African Republic leader appeals for lifting arms embargo

Financial abuse of elderly ‘rampant, but invisible’, says UN expert

5 surprising ways digital technology is changing childhood

Does May have enough time in Parliament to table a soft Brexit deal?

UN experts cite ‘possible exploitation’ of workers hired to clean up toxic Japanese nuclear plant

Launch of Pact for Youth: European Youth Forum calls for real business engagement

UN condemns Syrian ‘war on children’ as up to 30 reportedly killed in clashes

MEPs demand end to EU arms exports to Saudi Arabia

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

Will Western Balkans respond positively to EU initiatives?

If on a summer’s night: is UK businesses’ “new deal” the only key to the “best of all worlds”?

The United States divorce rate is dropping, thanks to millennials

UNICEF urges all countries to provide ‘Super Dads’ with paid leave

Forests ‘essential’ for the future, UN agriculture chief spells out in new report

How the EU sees its own and Russia’s role in Ukraine

Syria: Civilians bear brunt of unilateral sanctions, exacerbating ‘unparalleled suffering, destruction,’ says UN expert

UN global counter-terrorism strategy review an ‘overarching vision for the future’: Assembly President

In DR Congo, UN Security Council says December polls are ‘historic opportunity’ for country

Why CFOs need to rethink what it means to create value

Data exchanges: Strengthening Europol cooperation with non-EU countries

The vicious cycle of poverty and exclusion spreads fast engulfing more children

G20 LIVE: “This was not an attack against France, this was an attack against the universal human values!”, EU President Juncker cries out from G20 in Antalya Turkey

‘Internal security’ or how to compromise citizens’ rights and also make huge profits

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to trigger disruption, claim industry leaders

G20 LIVE: Fact Sheet from the G20 Leaders Summit and key outcomes (G20 Antalya 2015 Summary)

Main results of European Council of 18/10/2018

Eurozone business activity again on upwards path

The European Union’s Balkan Double Standard

Towards a tobacco free India

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to Combat Climate Change

EU: The Member States to pay for national banking problems

Iran nuclear talks’ deadline extended: the match is still open for many

Deaf advocate voices importance of sign languages as UN marks first commemoration

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

How will the NATO-EU competition evolve in the post Brexit era?

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

OECD Donor countries need to reform development finance to meet 2030 pledge

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

Eurozone: A Sluggish economy offers no extra jobs

UN launches new framework to strengthen fight against terrorism

ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development

The EU cuts roaming charges further while the UK weighs Brexit impact

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “It is the implementation, Stupid!”, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble points the finger to Greece from Davos

Medical students as the critical link to address climate change

What will it take for the world’s third-largest economy to empower women?

Workplace risks: Final vote on protection from carcinogens, including diesel fumes

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s