Egypt – The past eight years have been the hottest on record, the UN agency said in a report released on the opening day of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has said that targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial average are now “barely achievable” as greenhouse gases continue to flow into the atmosphere.
It estimates that the average global temperature in 2022 will be about 1.15 degrees Celsius higher than between 1850 and 1900.
The harsh conclusions of overshadowed optimism that last year’s UN conference on climate change, or COP26, “kept 1 in 5 people alive.”
The WMO said that “the signs and effects of climate change are becoming increasingly dramatic” as warming accelerates the irreversible melting of glaciers, threatening water security, and raising sea levels.
The last two and a half years alone accounted for 10 percent of the total sea level rise since satellite measurements began nearly three decades ago, he said.
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement that while sea level rise is currently measured in “millimetres per year,” the amount would be “half to a metre” in a century.
“This is a long-term and serious threat to millions of coastal residents and the countries that depend on them.”
The WMO report said:
- Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are at record levels in the atmosphere as emissions continue. The annual increase in methane, a potent greenhouse gas, was the largest on record.
- Sea levels are rising twice as fast now as they were 30 years ago, and the oceans are warmer than ever.
- The Alpine glacier melt record was broken in 2022 when the height decreased by an average of
- Rain, not snow, was measured for the first time on a glacier in Greenland at an altitude of 3200 meters.
- Antarctic sea ice extent fell to the lowest level on record, almost 1 million square kilometers below the long-term average.
- The central battle at COP27 is indeed a long-running dispute over whether, in addition to reducing emissions, rich industrialized countries should offer compensation to poorer countries for the historical damage they have caused.
- On Sunday, representatives put the issue on the agenda for the first time since climate talks began decades ago.
Global warming is making extreme weather more severe and more frequent around the world. The WMO report highlighted the drought in East Africa, where rainfall has been below average for four consecutive seasons, the longest in 40 years. About 19 million people are currently suffering from a food crisis.
The WMO analysis also reports:
- Devastating floods in Pakistan, killing at least 1700 and displacing 7.9 million people.
- A series of cyclones hit South Africa, which hit Madagascar hardest with heavy rains.
- Extraordinary heatwaves and drought in the Northern Hemisphere as China experiences the longest heatwave on record, Britain hits
- 40C for the first time, and Europe’s rivers, including the Rhine, Loire, and Danube, drop to critically low levels.
- Hurricane Ian caused widespread damage and loss of life in Cuba and Florida.
“The greater the warming, the worse the consequences,” said Taalas.” Extreme weather events have tested the globe this year, from floods in Pakistan to droughts in Africa and heat waves in Europe and China.