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Key Climate Change Indicators Break Records in 2021: WMO

Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 19 May 2022 12:03 WIB
Key Climate Change Indicators Break Records in 2021: WMO
The heat trapped by human-induced greenhouse gases will warm the planet for many generations to come. (Photo: medcom.id)
Geneva: Four key climate change indicators – greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification – set new records in 2021, yet another clear sign that human activities are causing planetary scale changes on land, in the ocean, and in the atmosphere, with harmful and long-lasting ramifications for sustainable development and ecosystems, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Extreme weather – the day-to-day "face" of climate change – led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses and wreaked a heavy toll on human lives and well-being and triggered shocks for food and water security and displacement that have accentuated in 2022.
The WMO State of the Global Climate in 2021 report confirmed that the past seven years have been the warmest seven years on record. 

2021 was only one of the seven warmest because of a La Nina event at the start and end of the year. 

This had a temporary cooling effect but did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures. 

The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 (± 0.13) °C above the pre-industrial level.

"It is just a matter of time before we see another warmest year on record," said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas in a press release on Wednesday.

"Our climate is changing before our eyes. The heat trapped by human-induced greenhouse gases will warm the planet for many generations to come. Sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification will continue for hundreds of years unless means to remove carbon from the atmosphere are invented. Some glaciers have reached the point of no return and this will have long-term repercussions in a world in which more than 2 billion people already experience water stress," he added.

The WMO State of the Global Climate report complements the IPCC Sixth Assessment report, which includes data up to 2019. 

The new WMO report is accompanied by a story map and provides information and practical examples for policy-makers on how the climate change indicators outlined in the IPCC reports played out during the recent years globally and how the associated implications on extremes have been felt at national and regional level in 2021.

The WMO State of the Global Climate report, which will be used as an official document for the UN Climate Change negotiations known as COP27 to take place in Egypt later this year.

Dozens of experts contribute to the report from Member-States including National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and Global Data and Analysis Centers, as well as Regional Climate Centres, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW), the Global Cryosphere Watch and the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change services.

United Nations partners include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

(WAH)

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