After the release of flagship report on global warming, UN’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres has requested the world leaders to come to September’s climate summit in New York city. The leaders will discuss different plans to act on climate change.
According to the report, almost 62 million people worldwide have been hit and 2 million people had to re-locate as man-made climate change worsened.
Guterres has requested the leaders to come with a plan and not a speech. It is a security and health issue for the world. The combination of extreme heat and air pollution is proving dangerous. Also, the impact on public health is escalating.
The World Meteorological Organization’s annual state of global climate report stated that Earth at present is nearly 1.8°F warmer than when the industrial age started. Adding to this, the world leaders are trying to limit warming to 3.6°F.
WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas said that a growing amount of disasters because of climate change have been witnessed. Since 1998, about 4.5 billion people around the world have been hurt by extreme weather. Taalas also mentioned about Cyclone Idai which just hit Mozambique and said that mentioning of this event in the reports would be too early.
As per the report, the past four years have been the warmest on record. Taalas said 2018 was the warmest La Nina year on record. La Nina is basically a natural cooling of parts of the Pacific Ocean that happens to change weather worldwide, generally cools down the global temperature a bit.
Guterres said that last year solely in the United States, 14 weather and climate related disasters were seen wherein the devastation costed some $49 billion.
In a nutshell, the 44- page report mentioned:
1. Floods affected 35 million people.
2. Drought hit another 9 million people, adding to the problem of growing enough food to feed the world.
3. Ocean heat reached a record high, and oceans are getting more acidic and losing oxygen.
4. With some exceptions, glaciers are melting and ice in the polar oceans is shrinking.
5. The level of carbon dioxide in the air hit record highs.
Taalas mentioned that carbon dioxide is the major problem here and this gas tends to stay in the air for hundred of years. While, Guterres called the U.N. report as another strong wake-up call.
He requested the leaders to come to the summit with concrete, realistic plans in order to move on a sustainable path, once and for all. It is very important for all of us to tackle climate change with much greater ambition.
Image Credit: Edam
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