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UN warns planet ‘on the brink’ after warmest decade on record – Prime Time News24



World temperatures “smashed” warmth data final 12 months, as heatwaves stalked oceans and glaciers suffered file ice loss, the United Nations mentioned on Tuesday — warning 2024 was prone to be even hotter.

The annual State of the Local weather report by the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) confirmed preliminary information displaying that 2023 was by far the most popular 12 months ever recorded.

And final 12 months was a part of “the warmest 10-year interval on file”, the WMO climate and local weather company mentioned, with even hotter temperatures anticipated going ahead.

“There’s a excessive likelihood that 2024 will once more break the file of 2023”, WMO local weather monitoring chief Omar Baddour advised reporters.

Reacting to the report, UN chief Antonio Guterres mentioned it confirmed “a planet on the brink”.

“Earth’s issuing a misery name,” he mentioned in a video tackle, declaring that “fossil gas air pollution is sending local weather chaos off the charts”, and warning that “modifications are dashing up”.

The WMO mentioned that final 12 months the common near-surface temperature was 1.45 levels Celsius above pre-industrial ranges — dangerously near the important 1.5°C threshold that nations agreed to keep away from passing within the 2015 Paris Local weather Accords.

‘Crimson alert’

“By no means have we been so shut […] to the 1.5°C decrease restrict of the Paris Settlement,” WMO chief Celeste Saulo warned.

“I’m now sounding the pink alert concerning the state of the local weather,” she advised reporters, lamenting that “2023 set new data for each single local weather indicator”.

The organisation discovered that most of the data had been “smashed” and that the numbers “gave ominous new significance to the phrase ‘off the charts’”.

Saulo confused that local weather change was about rather more than temperatures.

“What we witnessed in 2023, particularly with the unprecedented ocean heat, glacier retreat and Antarctic sea ice loss, is trigger for specific concern,” she mentioned.

One particularly worrying discovering was that marine heatwaves gripped almost a 3rd of the worldwide ocean on a median day final 12 months.

And by the top of 2023, greater than 90 per cent of the ocean had skilled heatwave circumstances in some unspecified time in the future in the course of the 12 months, the WMO mentioned.

Extra frequent and intense marine heatwaves could have “profound unfavourable repercussions for marine ecosystems and coral reefs”, it warned.

On the similar time, it warned that key glaciers worldwide suffered the biggest lack of ice ever since data started in 1950, “pushed by excessive soften in each western North America and Europe”.

In Switzerland, the place the WMO is headquartered, Alpine glaciers had misplaced 10pc of their remaining quantity previously two years alone, it mentioned.

The Antarctic sea ice extent was additionally “by far the bottom on file”, WMO mentioned.

Rising sea ranges

In actual fact, it identified, its most space on the finish of the southern winter was round a million sq. kilometres under the earlier file 12 months — equal to the scale of France and Germany mixed.

Ocean warming and the quickly melting glaciers and ice sheets additionally drove the ocean stage final 12 months to its highest level since satellite tv for pc data started in 1993, WMO mentioned.

The company confused that the worldwide imply sea stage rise over the previous decade (2014-2023) was greater than double the speed within the first decade of satellite tv for pc data.

It highlighted that dramatic local weather shifts are taking a heavy toll worldwide, fuelling excessive climate occasions, flooding and drought, which set off displacement and drive up biodiversity loss and meals insecurity.

“The local weather disaster is the defining problem that humanity faces and is carefully intertwined with the inequality disaster,” Saulo mentioned.

‘Glimmer of hope’

The variety of people who find themselves thought of acutely meals insecure world wide has greater than doubled, from 149 million folks earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic to 333m on the finish of 2023, WMO identified.

The organisation did nonetheless spotlight one “glimmer of hope”: surging renewable vitality technology.

Final 12 months, renewable vitality technology capability — primarily from photo voltaic, wind and hydropower — elevated by almost 50pc from 2022, it mentioned.

Guterres additionally emphasised that there was nonetheless time to avert a chronic disaster.

The world, he insisted, nonetheless has an opportunity to maintain the planet’s long-term temperature rise under the 1.5°C threshold and “keep away from the worst of local weather chaos”.

“We all know methods to do it. “

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