Targets set through the Paris Agreement 2015 are not currently being met on a global basis, at a time when actions to limit global warming are off track, and climate change damage becomes more apparent.
Increasing heat, accelerated sea level rises and extreme weather in 2019 were all indications of failure to rein in carbon emissions, according to a report compiled by the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Their report had input from national meteorological services, international experts, scientific institutions and other UN agencies and the trends have continued into 2020.
Every year, WMO issues a Statement on the State of the Global Climate. It is based on data provided by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and other national and international organisations. Further details of the report can be found at:
Last year was the second hottest year on record, with a global average temperature of 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. Each decade since the 1980s has been hotter than any preceding decade.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries are expected to increase their action this year to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, to prevent the worst impacts of global warming.
In a foreword to the report, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said, “We are currently way off track to meeting either the 1.5° or 2°C targets that the Paris Agreement calls for. This report outlines the latest science and illustrates the urgency for far-reaching climate action.”
He thought it would only be a matter of time before a new world record hottest temperature was reached, perhaps within the next 5 years.
Alongside temperature increases, rainfall changes are having a major impact on several countries and sea levels are rising at an increasing pace, exposing coastal areas and islands to a greater risk of flooding and submersion.
Greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere have continued to rise in 2019 and carbon emissions from fossil fuels grew by 0.6% last year.
There were two major heat waves in Europe in June and July, with new national temperature records set in UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.
Climate change is facilitating the spread of dengue fever, with around half of the world’s population being at risk of infection.
World hunger also increased, with an estimated 22 million people forced to leave their homes by events, such as storms and floods.
Drought or low rainfall hit many parts of the world, including Australia, which also saw its hottest year, with an exceptionally long and severe season of wildfires.
The Greenland ice sheet lost 329 billion tonnes of ice in 2019.
A map showing all the countries with weather extremes can be found at:
Another report from the WMO, entitled “The Global Climate in 2015-2019” can be found at: https://library.wmo.int/index.php?lvl=notice_display&id=21522#.Xmj5J6j7TIV
as well as previous WMO Reports.