The last 8 years have been the hottest on record, according to a UN agency

The COP27 climate summit kicked off on Sunday with another dire report on the state of the planet. As world leaders gathered for the conference in Egypt, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the past eight years had been the hottest in recorded history.

During the period from 2013 to 2022, the global average temperature was estimated to be 1.14 degrees Celsius above levels from 1850 to 1900, according to the United Nations agency’s interim report on the state of the world’s climate. in 2022.

And according to the agency, “warming continues” – accompanied by accelerating sea level rise, record melting of glaciers in Europe and extreme weather.

“We have just experienced the 8 hottest years on record”, according to the UN agency said. “The global average temperature in 2022 is about 1.15°C above pre-industrial levels.

Officials have warned for years that to prevent the most severe impacts of climate change, the world must stay below a global average of 1.5 degrees Celsius warming from pre-industrial times. Now WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas warns that seems unlikely.

“The greater the warming, the more severe the impacts,” he said. “We have such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now that the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C drop is barely within reach.”

The development echoes a series of reports the UN released less than two weeks ago that found countries failing to create and enact sufficient plans to tackle the climate crisis. Reports have revealed that based on current actions, plans and emissions, Earth is on track to reach nearly 3 degrees Celsius warming in less than 80 years.

The latest WMO report says the record heat comes as “the telltale signs and impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly dramatic”.

In its interim report on the state of the global climate in 2022, the WMO found that greenhouse gases had reached record levels. The rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993 and increased by almost 10 millimeters since January 2020, reaching a record high in 2022. Ocean heat also reached record highs in 2021.

“The last two and a half years alone account for 10% of global sea level rise since satellite measurements began nearly 30 years ago,” the WMO said.

Glaciers played a big role in this. In Europe, glaciers in the European Alps have reportedly experienced “record melting” since January alone. The Greenland ice sheetwhich, combined with Antarctica, stores about two-thirds of the planet’s fresh water, lost some of its mass for the 26th consecutive year and received its first rainfall in September, the report said.

“It is already too late for many glaciers and the melting will continue for hundreds or even thousands of years, with major implications for water security,” Taalas said. “The rate of sea level rise has doubled in the last 30 years. Although we still measure this in terms of millimeters per year, this represents half a meter to one meter per century and it is a threat major and long-term for many millions of people living in coastal and low-lying states.”

The WMO has said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to unveil a plan at COP27 for a global early warning system, which the agency says half of nations lack. The Early Warnings for All initiative will seek $3.1 billion in investments over the next five years to help “disaster risk knowledge, observations and forecasts, preparedness and response, and communication of early warnings”.

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