“Bell” Guterres on climate change: We are heading into uncharted waters

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The report, led by the World Meteorological Organization (VMO), warns that the world is “going in the wrong direction” on climate change.

The effects of climate change are “heading towards uncharted territories of disaster”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned today as he released an interagency scientific survey presenting the latest research on the problem.

The report, led by the World Meteorological Organization (VMO), warns that the world is “going in the wrong direction” on climate change.

With greenhouse gas concentrations continuing to rise in the atmosphere and world leaders failing to adopt strategies to keep the Earth’s temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the Earth is becoming more close to dangerous climate tipping points, the United in Science report says.

Already extreme weather events are more frequent and more intense.

Heatwaves in Europe. Massive floods in Pakistan… There is nothing natural about the new scale of these disastersGuterres said in a video message.

Despite the dip‘ marked by emissions during the coronavirus lockdowns, greenhouse gas emissions have since soared past pre-pandemic levels. Preliminary data shows that global carbon dioxide emissions in the first six months of this year were 1.2 percent higher than the same period in 2019, the report said.

The previous seven years were the warmest on record.

The global average temperature is already 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average. And scientists expect the annual average could be 1.1 to 1.7 degrees Celsius warmer by 2026 — meaning we could potentially cross the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold in the next five years.

By the end of the century, without aggressive climate action, global warming is expected to reach 2.8 degrees Celsius.

But even at the current level of warming we could exceed several climate tipping points.

The ocean current that carries heat from the tropics to the northern hemisphere, for example, is now the slowest in 1,000 years — putting historical weather patterns at risk, says the report, which includes input from the UN Environment Program and the Office of the UN on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Almost half the world’s population is considered very vulnerable to the effects of climate change — floods, heat, drought, forest fires and storms.

By the 2050s, more than 1.6 billion city dwellers will regularly see three-month average temperatures of at least 35 degrees Celsius.

To help communities cope, the VMO has pledged to put every person on Earth under the protection of an early warning system within the next five years.

RES-EMP

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