UN issues call to action

Global warming has become such a serious threat that the UN urged nations to take action. FILE PHOTO

United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres reiterated his call to governments of the world to take the necessary action anent the worsening climate conditions around the globe ahead of the climate summit in September.

Guterres cited the data released by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) showing the past four years were officially the “four warmest on record,” confirming the report that 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 were the four warmest years recorded to date.

According to the UN secretary general, the analysis based on the monitoring of five leading international organizations showed that the global average surface temperature in 2018 was approximately one degree Celsius above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) baseline.

Noting “with concern” this data — which was first released in November 2018 — Guterres said it confirms “the urgency of addressing climate action” and echoes the science presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its October 2018 special report on the impacts of a global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, on the other hand, said the long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years and that trend is an upward one.

“The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years. The degree of warming during the past four years has been exceptional, both on land and in the ocean,” Taalas said.

“Temperatures are only part of the story. Extreme and high impact weather affected many countries and millions of people, with devastating repercussions for economies and ecosystems in 2018.”

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