published on 4 December 2019 in air
State of the Climate, here are the World Meteorological Organization data
“We are nowhere near on track” are the words of Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the Word Meteorological Organization (WMO) commenting the latest climate data for 2019. The Organization took advantage of COP 25 in Madrid to publish the provisional version of its Statement on the State of the Global Climate, in which it describes a decade marked by exceptional increases in heat, shrinking of ice caps and an unprecedented rise in sea levels. Emissions of carbon dioxide continue to increase: in 2018 CO2 reached a level of 407.8 parts per million (ppm) and in 2019 there is no sign of a reversal (final data will be indicated at year end). Year by year, the increase in emissions fuels global warming and a whole series of cascading climatic effects.
As far as temperatures are concerned, according to WMO experts, 2019 is thought to be either the second or third warmest years on record. Unquestionably, the warmest year ever was 2016, which began with an exceptionally strong El Niño. Most of the planet recorded temperatures higher than recent average levels, especially in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Intensification of extreme weather events raises particular concerns, notably distribution of rainfall, which is increasingly more erratic, thus posing a threat to agriculture.
According to the Statement on the State of the Global Climate, oceans, which act as a buffer that absorbs heat and carbon dioxide, are paying one of the highest prices in the current climate change. Their heat content has reached exceptional levels and marine heat waves are increasing. Ocean acidity has increased 26% from the beginning of the industrial era and the vital ecosystems within it are progressively deteriorating.