The current decade is slated to be the warmest in history, said the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations agency, in its annual report. According to the WMO provisional statement of the state of the climate 2019, the global mean temperature for the first ten months was more than one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and past five years are most likely to be the five warmest years on record.
The worrying trend of global warming can be ascertained from the fact that each successive decade, since the 1980s, has been warmer than the preceding decade. “If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, adding that we are nowhere near the track to meet targets set under 2015 Paris climate deal.
Recently, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report saying greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut by 7.6 per cent every year on an average to limit the temperature rise close to 1.5 degrees Celsius. UNEP signalled that the commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement won’t be enough to resist destructive climate impacts. Actions as per Paris climate deal will lead to a 3.2 degrees Celsius global temperature rise over pre-industrial levels.
According to the UN report, the cuts required per year to meet the projected emissions levels for 2 degrees Celsius and 1.5 degrees Celcius would have been 0.7 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively if serious action had begun in 2010. The longer climate action is delayed the greater the cuts will be required.
“There has never been a more important time to listen to the science. Failure to heed these warnings and take drastic action to reverse emissions means we will continue to witness deadly and catastrophic heatwaves, storms and pollution,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.