Global State of the Cliate 2018 - Expert Reaction

Katie Ramirez
March 31, 2019

"It proves what we have been saying that climate change is moving faster t han our efforts to address it", he said at United Nations headquarters in NY.

FILE - The Eiffel Tower is illuminated in green with the words "Paris Agreement Is Done", to celebrate the day that the United Nations climate change agreement went into force, in Paris, Nov. 4, 2016.

"The past four years were the warmest on record, with the global average surface temperature in 2018 approximately 1°C above the pre-industrial baseline", Guterres wrote in the report.

UN Secretary General António Guterres commented in the WMO report, "The data released in this report give cause for great concern".

According to the report, nearly 62 million people worldwide have been hit and 2 million people had to re-locate as man-made climate change worsened.

I am telling leaders: "Don't come with a speech, come with a plan", Guterres told a news conference for the launch of an annual report of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

"The IPCC found that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require rapid and far reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities and that global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050".

In 2018, about 35 million people worldwide were hit by flooding and there were 14 "billion-dollar disasters" in the U.S., including Hurricane Florence and Michael which caused 49 billion dollars (£37 billion) of damage and more than 100 deaths. "The combination of extreme heat and air pollution is proving increasingly unsafe".

When it first came out in 1993, carbon dioxide levels were at 357 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere.

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Additionally, the WMO noted that over 2 million people were displaced due to disasters linked to weather and climate events as of September 2018. He deals to, among other things, with extreme weather events, including the recent cyclone Idai.

Record greenhouse gas levels are driving temperatures to "increasingly unsafe levels", it says.

"He could be one of the most deadly weather-related disasters in the southern hemisphere", said the WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

"2018 saw new records for ocean heat content in the upper 700 metres (data record started in 1955) and upper 2000 metres (data record started in 2005), topping the previous record set in 2017".

The years between 2015 and 2018 were the four warmest on that record, the study says.

Earlier, the General Assembly held a High-Level meeting on climate change and sustainable development, including panel discussions on synergies between the two, and how the two agendas can be brought together in terms of concrete action.

Extreme weather and climate events accounted for most of the natural hazards that affected almost 62 million people during the year, according to the WMO's annual State of the Climate report.

"This report makes it very clear that the impacts of climate change are accelerating", said Prof Samantha Hepburn who is director of the Centre for Energy and Natural Resource Law at Deakin University in Australia.

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