The World Meteorological Organization has warned that sea levels have doubled and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have hit record highs.
Record levels of greenhouse gases are causing “planetary-scale changes in land, ocean and atmosphere”, a United Nations agency said in a report showing the past eight years have been Earth’s hottest on record.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday in its State of the Global Climate 2022 report that global sea levels are rising more than twice as fast as in the first decade measured between 1993 and 2002, and set a record pace last year. new highs.
In a report detailing the damage wrought by climate change, the group said extreme glacial melting and record ocean heat caused waters to swell, contributing to an average annual sea level rise of 4.62 millimeters between 2013 and 2022.
“The melting of glaciers and sea level rise – reaching record levels again in 2022 – will continue for thousands of years,” the report said. “Antarctic sea ice is down to the lowest level on record, and some European glaciers are actually off the charts.”
Deadly floods, droughts and heat waves have occurred around the world, causing billions of dollars in damages. The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and methane in the air is the highest ever recorded in modern times.
“This report shows that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are once again at record levels – contributing to warming of land and oceans, melting of ice sheets and glaciers, rising sea levels, and warming and acidification of oceans,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri W. Taalas wrote in the foreword to the report.
Overall, the World Meteorological Organization said that despite the cooling impact of the three-year La Niña climate event in the Pacific, 2022 will be the fifth or sixth warmest year on record, with the global average temperature 1.15 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average.
The world could break new average temperature records in 2023 or 2024, climate scientists have warned, driven by climate change and the expected return of El Niño warming.
The past eight years have been the warmest on record globally, the report said.
The UK, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand experienced their hottest years on record.
“In 2022, prolonged drought in East Africa, record-breaking rainfall in Pakistan, and record-breaking heatwaves in China and Europe will affect tens of millions of people, lead to food insecurity, fuel mass migration, and cause billions of dollars in damage and Destruction,” Taalas wrote.
The 55-page report said China’s heatwave was the longest and widest on record, with the summer not only being the hottest but breaking the old record by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit).
Droughts in Africa displaced more than 1.7 million people in Somalia and Ethiopia, while devastating floods in Pakistan at one point submerged a third of the country and displaced some 8 million people, the report said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned in a message ahead of Earth Day on Saturday that “biodiversity is collapsing as 1 million species are threatened with extinction”. He called on the world to end “the relentless and senseless war on nature”.
“We have the tools, the knowledge and the solutions” to tackle climate change, Guterres said.