Sunday, July 19, 2020

Climate change 'hitting harder and sooner' than forecast, warn scientists ahead of UN meeting

A new report published ahead of key UN climate talks has warned the world is falling drastically behind in the race to avert climate disaster, with the five-year period ending in 2019 the hottest on record.
Key points:
The new report revealed that global temperatures between 2015-2019 were the hottest on record
It noted carbon emissions in the same period had risen by 20 per cent
Its authors also warned of the alarming extent of sea-level rise and melting glaciers
The data, compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), says climate change is accelerating, with sea levels rising, carbon dioxide levels increasing and ice sheets melting faster than ever before.
It warned that carbon-cutting efforts have to be intensified immediately and comes ahead of a major UN climate summit in New York on Monday that will be attended by more than 60 world leaders, as secretary-general Antonio Guterres pushes for countries to increase their greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The report "highlights the urgent need for the development of concrete actions that halt global warming and the worst effects of climate change," said its authors, the Science Advisory Group to the summit.
Average global temperatures between 2015-2019 were on track to be the hottest of any five years on record, according to the report.
It highlighted that global temperatures have risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius since 1850, and have gone up 0.2C between 2011 and 2015.
And rather than falling, carbon dioxide grew 2 per cent in 2018, reaching a record high of 37 billion tonnes and locking in further warming.
According to the report, carbon emissions between 2015 and 2019 had grown by 20 per cent compared with the previous five years.
Other major takeaways include alarming new data on the extent of sea-level rise.
Sea levels have been rising by an average of 5 millimetres a year in the past five years, compared to 3.2mm a year on average since 1993, with much of the rise attributed to melting glaciers and ice sheets.

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