"Already Too Late": Last 8 Years Hottest On Record, UN Report Finds
"It's already too late for many glaciers and the melting will continue for hundreds if not thousands of years, with major implications for water security," said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas.
The last eight years are on track to be the eight warmest on record, a report released by UN's World Meteorological Organization showed. It added that the rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993.
"The greater the warming, the worse the impacts. We have such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now that the lower 1.5 degree Celsius of the Paris Agreement is barely within reach," said WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas.
The global mean temperature in 2022 is currently estimated to be about 1.15 degree Celsius above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average.
The report added that for the first time in history, no snow outlasted the summer season even at the very highest measurement sites.
Highlighting the consequences of this warming, the report said that sea levels have risen by nearly 10 mm since January 2020 to a new record high this year. The past two and a half years alone account for 10 per cent of the overall rise in sea level since satellite measurements started nearly 30 years ago.
"It's already too late for many glaciers and the melting will continue for hundreds if not thousands of years, with major implications for water security," Professor Taalas said.
2022 took also took an exceptionally heavy toll on glaciers in the European Alps, with initial indications of record-shattering melt. Concentrations of the main greenhouse gases once again reached record levels in 2021 with the annual increase in methane concentration was the highest on record.
The report also highlighted the increased frequency of 'marine heatwaves', which are periods of extremely high temperatures in the ocean. 55 per cent of the ocean surface experienced at least one marine heatwave in 2022. In contrast only 22 per cent of the ocean surface experienced a marine cold spell.
WMO released the provisional State the Global Climate report on the eve of the UN climate negotiations in Sharm-El-Sheikh, COP27.