World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations subsidiary that covers weather, climate and water resources, on Wednesday have declared the last decade to be the hottest ten years ever since we started keeping records.
The declaration came with a warning that increases in temperature throughout the globe is likely to fuel extreme weather events in 2020 and years after that. WMO was quick to point out that the consequences of the temperature increase are visibly present now as “retreating ice, record sea levels, increasing ocean heat and acidification, and extreme weather”.
The climate body’s findings are based on the analysis of datasets collected from various leading international agencies and research groups. WMO’s research also confirms the data released by the European Union’s climate monitor last week showing that 2019 was the second hottest year on record, after 2016.
Catastrophic events such as the Australian bush fires come as a direct result of global warming. The fires have continued from 2019 to this year, indicating things are getting out of our hands.
“The year 2020 has started out where 2019 left off – with high-impact weather and climate-related events,” WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement, pointing in particular to the devastating bushfires that have been raging in Australia for months.
Taalas expects to see extreme weathers throughout 2020 owing to record levels of heat being trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The UN agency said that average global temperatures during both the past five-year (2015-2019) and 10-year (2010-2019) periods were the highest ever recorded. “Since the 1980s each decade has been warmer than the previous one,” the UN agency said in a statement, warning that “this trend is expected to continue”.
The statements debuff the claim that increasing temperature is only natural being part of the climate variability. Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Gavin Schmidt says that the trend line (in temperature increase) was unmistakable and could not be attributed to normal climate variability.
Data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals to us that polar sea ice coverage continued its downward trend in 2019 reaffirming the more immediate effects of global warming.
While warnings have been issued, conservationists said the UN agency’s findings were to be expected. “It is no surprise that 2019 was the second hottest year on record – nature has been persistently reminding us that we have to pick up the pace,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy practice, calling for dramatic measures to halt the warming trend.
The world is very clear on the fact that global warming will have a horrifying impact on lives. Present-day consequences are more than enough to understand the magnitude of this problem. Yet our action to address the climate change remains muted.