Do you know we are living in the hottest decade in history? The World Meteorological Organization recently declared this decade is set to be the hottest in an annual assessment. It also highlighted the changing climate is outpacing humanity’s ability to adapt to it.
The rising temperature of the earth, the climbing sea level, and the increased melting rate of ice in Greenland, indicating the excessive carbon emission in the environment. The WMO also claimed, 2019 is set to break the record for atmospheric carbon concentrations, resulting in further warming.
Researchers at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) in Oslo, every year, gather the amount of harmful greenhouse gases human expels into the planet’s atmosphere.
Presently, Oceans are at their highest recorded temperatures as they absorb 90 percent of the excess heat that is produced by greenhouse gases. The world seas have turned much more acidic than 150 years ago. It has affected the vital ecosystems upon which billions of people depend for food and jobs.
In October, 329 billion tonnes of ice loss from Greenland within just 12 months, reaching the sea level on its highest record. WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas warned, “Once again in 2019, weather and climate-related risks hit hard. Heatwaves and floods, which used to be once in a century, events are becoming more regular occurrences.”
“If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3 degrees C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human well being,” said Taalas.
“Countries ranging from the Bahamas to Japan to Mozambique suffered the effect of devastating tropical cyclones. Wildfires swept through the Arctic and Australia,” he added.
As per the Global Carbon Budget Report, the rate of carbon dioxide emissions continued growing in 2019, which is 0.6 per cent. However, it is a small increase compared to the early 2000s when emissions jumped 0.3 per cent each year. The report indicates that the global society’s carbon emissions are not falling.
The WMO revealed in an annual publication that this year is going to the second or the third warmest since records started. From January to October, the impacts have included severe drought heatwaves and floods across all inhabited continents, and over the seas, there have also been heatwaves.
This year, the upper levels of the oceans have experienced unusually warm temperatures since the 1950s. More than 10 million people were internally displaced in the first half of 2019 due to extreme natural calamities such as storms, flooding, and drought. According to WMO, the amount reached up to 22 million by the end of the year.
Taalas also expressed his concern regarding the impacts of climate change, especially the unstable rainfall patterns. He said it would affect the crop yields and, combined with population increase. It may also lead to food security challenges for vulnerable countries in the future.
From 2010 to 2019, temperatures were about 1.1C above the average for the pre-industrial period, showing how close the world is coming to the 1.5C of warming. Scientists say it will cause dramatic impacts, extreme weather, affecting vital ecosystems.