Last decade "almost certain" to be warmest, says United Nations agency

Clay Curtis
December 5, 2019

The concentration of Carbon dioxide reached a record of 407.8 parts per million (ppm) a year ago, which could be even higher in 2019.

The report is released as countries meet in Madrid for the latest round of United Nations climate negotiations, known as "Cop25", amid pressure to increase their ambitions to cut the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change. They are the cause of global climate change. But the 2010-2019 decade has also recorded a 0.265°C rise over 2000-2009. This year the dipole was strongly positive, and was believed to have been partly responsible for unusually high rainfall in August and September as well as delayed monsoon withdrawal from India.

In fact, the average global temperature for the years 2015-2019 is on its way to being the warmest of any other registered equivalent period, one degree above pre-industrial times (1850-1900).

In October, the global mean sea level reached its highest on record, fuelled by the 329 billion tons of ice lost from the Greenland ice sheet in 12 months.

The world's average temperature is set to rise by between 3ºC and 5ºC by the end of this century, the World Meteorologic Organization predicted. Carbon dioxide concentrations reached a record level of 407.8 parts per million past year and have continued to rise in 2019.

"As soon as once more in 2019 climate and local weather associated dangers hit arduous", mentioned WMO Secretary-Basic Petteri Taalas.

The WMO's provisional statement notes that Asia and the Pacific are the two regions most likely to suffer disaster displacement of people due to both sudden and slow-onset disasters.

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Its landmark report in October 2018 laid the groundwork for the string of climate shockwaves that rumbled throughout 2019: The world is way off course for 1.5°C, and the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C could be catastrophic.

Climate variability and weather extremes are also a "compounding driver" of hunger in over 30 countries, the WMO found, as well the internal displacement of millions between January and June 2019.

The report has cautioned that global warming trends have actually worsened since the Paris climate pact in 2015 under which countries had pledged to cut or curb Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions to cap the average temperature rise at 2°C.

And whereas governments spend hundreds of billions of bucks subsidizing fossil fuels, there appears to be no consensus in Madrid over how countries already facing native climate-connected catastrophe can fund efforts to adapt to the contemporary reality.

Joeri Rogelj, Grantham Lecturer in Climate Change at Imperial College London, said the economic activities continue to use the atmosphere as a waste dump for greenhouse gases. According to Taalas, there is "no indication" of a fade-out of global warming. "The numbers shall be increased if we proceed our contemporary behaviour".

Friederike Otto, deputy director of the College of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, mentioned the WMO report "highlights that we're not even tailored to 1.1 diploma of warming".

On a daily basis, the impacts of climate change play out through extreme and "abnormal" weather, Taalas said. Thunberg said she would spend a few days in Lisbon before making her way to Madrid, where the COP25 climate summit is now underway. "Delegates have no excuse to block progress or drag their feet when the science is showing how urgently action is needed".

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