2018 temperatures set to be among hottest on record

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 2, 2018

2018 is set to be the fourth warmest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which found that extreme weather this year due to climate change left a trail of devastation across the globe, including in India.

The WMO report comes days ahead of a global climate summit in Katowice, Poland, where nations will discuss progress on implementing the goals of the Paris climate accord signed three years ago keep temperatures to 1.5-2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

With levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the main driver of climate change, at a record high, "we may see temperature increase of 3-5C by the end of the century", Taalas said.

"It is worth repeating once again that we are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it", said Mr Taalas.

A new USA federal report released last week details how climate change is affecting not just the environment on the continent, but also agriculture, energy, water resources, and human health.

The world has committed to keeping warming to no more than 2C above such levels, with an aspiration to limit rises to 1.5C, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said will cause the dieback of coral reefs, sea-level rises and extreme weather in many regions. It makes a difference to the speed of glacier melt and water supplies, and the future of low-lying islands and coastal communities.

For the most recent decade, the average temperature increase was 0.93°C above the pre-industrial baseline. Every extra bit matters, ' said Ms Manaenkova.

A just-published United Kingdom assessment also warned that summer temperatures could be up to 5.4 degrees centigrade hotter, and summer rainfall could decrease by up to 47 per cent by 2070.

Researchers say now that a weak El Niño is expected to form in early 2019 which might make next year warmer than this one. "If we exploit all known fossil fuel resources, the temperature rise will be considerably higher", he said.

Global temperatures are influenced by both natural - La Niña or El Niño weather events, for example - and human factors - like increasing carbon emissions leading to climate change.

'The record-high heatwaves, record-low Arctic sea ice, above average tropical cyclones and deadly wildfires are an alarm bell impossible to ignore.

The executive director of The Lancet Countdown, Nick Watts, said the negative effects of climate warming were being felt right here and now, and not in the distant future.

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