Earth temps likely mark hottest decade on record--report:The Asahi Shimbun

Elias Hubbard
December 3, 2019

"Heatwaves and floods which used to be "once in a century" events are becoming more regular occurences".

And the rate at which sea levels are rising has increased as a result of melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, reaching new highs this year.

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas: "If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human well-being". Countries ranging from the Bahamas to Japan to Mozambique suffered the effect of devastating tropical cyclones.

It added that ocean's heat has reached record levels as seawater is 26 per cent more acidic than at the start of the industrial era, warning that marine ecosystems are being degraded. "Wildfires swept through the Arctic and Australia". The daily Arctic sea-ice extent minimum in September 2019, for example, was the second-lowest in recorded history.

The past decade, from 2010 to 2019, has nearly certainly been the warmest in records dating back to the 19th century, and the past five years from 2015 have also been the hottest on record, the United Nations body said.

How is climate change affecting Europe?

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"Our economic activities continue to use the atmosphere as a waste dump for greenhouse gases", said Joeri Rogelj, Grantham Lecturer in Climate Change at Imperial College London. National records were also set in Germany (42.6°C), the Netherlands (40.7°C), Belgium (41.8°C), Luxembourg (40.8°C) and the United Kingdom (38.7°C), with the heat also extending into the Nordic countries, where Helsinki had its highest temperature on record (33.2°C on 28 July). According to the United Nations IPCC, the GHG concentrations must stabilise at 450 parts per million (ppm) Carbon dioxide if the planet is to have a 50% chance of avoiding a unsafe global average temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius or more above pre-industrial levels.

Climate change is a key driver of a recent rise in global hunger after a decade of steady declines, with more than 820 million people suffering from hunger in 2018.

Friederike Otto, deputy director of the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, said the WMO report "highlights that we are not even adapted to 1.1 degree of warming". And enthusiasts held a "funeral" for the Pizol glacier in the Swiss Alps, which has nearly completely disappeared.

The report said more than 10 million people were internally displaced in the first half of 2019 - seven million directly due to extreme weather events such as storms, flooding and drought.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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