2018 Was the Fourth Warmest Year on Record With Kerala and California at the Receiving End

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Oslo (Norway): Last year was the fourth warmest in history and prospects are warmer levels that most governments consider dangerous for Earth, a UN report showed on Wednesday.

The climatic extremes in 2018 included forest fires in California and Greece, drought in South Africa and floods in Kerala. Record levels of greenhouse gas emissions caused by man, mainly by the burning of fossil fuels, increasingly trap the heat. The global average surface temperatures were 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times in 2018, the World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations (WMO) said, based on data from US, British meteorological agencies , Japanese and European.

“The long-term temperature trend is much more important than the classification of individual years, and that trend is upward,” WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. “The 20 warmest years recorded have been in the last 22 years.”

To combat the warming, almost 200 governments adopted the Paris climate agreement in 2015 to phase out the use of fossil fuels and limit the rise in temperatures to 2 degrees centigrade (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, while “pursue efforts” at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

“The long-term impacts of global warming are already being felt, in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense rainfall and changes in ecosystems,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Space Studies Institute.

Last year, only the United States suffered 14 climatic and climatic disasters with losses exceeding $ 1 billion each, led by hurricanes and wildfires, said the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. UU (NOAA).

NOAA and NASA provide data to WMO.

This year has also started with scorching temperatures, including the hottest January recorded in Australia. Against the world trend, parts of the United States suffered the cold of the bones due to a gust of arctic air last week. In WMO records dating from the 19th century, 2016 was the hottest year, driven by an El Niño climate event in the Pacific Ocean, ahead of 2015 and 2017 with 2018 in the fourth.

Risks of 1.5 degrees Celsius

The British Meteorological Office, which also provides data to WMO, said temperatures could rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, for example, if a natural El Niño weather event adds a heat explosion.

“In the next five years, there is a 10-year chance that one of those years will break the threshold (1.5 degrees Celsius),” Professor Adam Scaife of the Met Office told Reuters about medium-term forecasts. from the agency.

“That does not mean that the Paris Agreement is made by … but it is a worrying signal,” he said. The United Nations defines the temperature target of 1.5 degrees Celsius in Paris as an average of 30 years, not a strange flicker in a single year.

The United Nations says that the world is now on the road to a temperature increase of 3C or more in 2100. The Paris Pact responded to a 1992 UN treaty under which all governments agreed to avoid a “dangerous” climate change created by man

A UN report last year said that the world is likely to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052 in current trends, causing more and more heat waves, powerful storms, droughts, mudslides, extinctions and the rise in sea ​​level.

US President Donald Trump, who has challenged climate science and promotes the coal industry, plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. He did not mention climate change in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Patrick Verkooijen, head of the Global Adaptation Center in the Netherlands, told Reuters that the WMO report showed that “climate change is not a distant phenomenon, it is here now.”

He called for more green investments, ranging from defenses against rising seas to drought-resistant crops.