Critical global indicators of the climate crisis broke records in 2021, according to a United Nations report, from rising oceans to levels of greenhouse emissions in the atmosphere.
These are clear signs of humanity’s impact on the planet, which has had long-lasting effects, said the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO). severe weatherDescribed by the World Meteorological Organization as the daily face of the climate emergency, the organization said, it has caused huge loss of life and resulted in losses estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars.
Droughts and floods caused food prices to rise, which worsened in 2022. World Meteorological Organization The state of the global climate in 2021 The report also found that the past seven years were the hottest on record.
“Today’s State of the Climate report is a dismal evidence of humanity’s failure to tackle climate disruption. Fossil fuels are a dead end – both environmental and economic,” said António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General.
“The only sustainable future is a renewable future. The good news is that the lifeblood is right in front of us. Wind and solar energy are readily available, and in most cases cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels. If we work together, the renewable energy transformation can be a project for peace in the the twenty-first century”.
Professor Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of WMO, said: “Our climate is changing before our eyes. Human-caused greenhouse gases will warm the planet for many generations to come. Some glaciers have reached the point of no return, and this will have long-term repercussions in a world suffering the most. Two billion people already suffer from water stress.
“Extreme weather has a direct impact on our daily lives,” he said. “We have seen a drought emergency unfold in the Horn of Africa recently Deadly floods in South Africa and the Very hot in India and Pakistan. Early warning systems are absolutely essential [to save lives] Yet it is only available in less than half of the organization’s 187 member states.”
The world’s oceans absorb more than 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases, and 2021 set a record. The increasing warmth in the ocean, which is irreversible over time periods from centuries to millennia, has been especially strong in the past 20 years. The World Meteorological Organization said many oceans experienced at least one strong marine heatwave in 2021.
Global sea level also reached a new record in 2021. It has risen by 10 cm since 1993 and the rise is accelerating, driven by melting ice sheets and glaciers and ocean thermal expansion. The World Meteorological Organization said the rise was threatening hundreds of millions of coastal residents and adding to the damage caused by hurricanes.
Almost a quarter of carbon dioxide2 The oceans absorb the emissions, but this makes them more acidic. This threatens the wildlife and coral reefs that make up the snails, and thus food security, tourism and coastal protection, the World Meteorological Organization said. oceans now More acidic than at least 26000 years.
ko2 And methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is at record levels, along with carbon dioxide2 50% higher concentration than before the Industrial Revolution triggered the mass combustion of fossil fuels. The global temperature in 2021 was 1.1°C higher than the pre-industrial average, Approaching the 1.5°C limit It was agreed upon by the countries of the world to avoid the worst effects of the climate.
The World Meteorological Organization noted exceptional heat waves in 2021 in western North America and the Mediterranean, and deadly floods in Henan, China, Western Europe, and Rain is recorded for the first time On top of the Greenland ice cap. The agency warned that East Africa faces a high risk of no rainfall for the fourth consecutive season, which would mean the worst drought in 40 years.
Professor James Hansen, who Warn the world about the climate A crisis in testimony before the US Senate in 1988, He said this week There has been an “astounding and persistent failure of governments to adopt effective long-term energy and climate policies.
“We must all recognize that demands for effective policies will yield only superficial change as long as the role of special interests in government remains unaddressed.”
The Guardian newspaper revealed this last week 195 Oil and Gas “Carbon Bombs” Planned by industry, projects that each produce at least one billion tons of carbon dioxide2. Those carbon bombs alone will push global warming past 1.5°C, but the 10 largest oil companies are on track to spend $103 million a day through 2030 on climate-busting schemes.
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