2023 has broken every single climate indicator: UN weather agency

COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber said the world has no time to waste.

Greenhouse gas levels, surface temperatures, ocean heat and acidification, and sea level rise reached record highs in 2023, according to a new report released Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The report, titled “State of the Global Climate 2023,” confirmed that 2023 was the warmest year in the 174-year observation period, with the global average near-surface temperature 1.45 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial baseline (1850–1900). .

“Sirens are sounding on all important indicators… Some records are not only top performers, they are even breaking the charts. And the changes are accelerating,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“We have never been so close to the 1.5 degrees Celsius lower limit of the Paris Climate Agreement – ​​even if it is currently only temporary. The WMO community is sounding the alarm to the world…The climate crisis is.” “The critical challenge facing humanity,” said WMO Secretary-General Celeste Saulo.

“Climate change is about much more than just temperatures. What we have experienced in 2023, particularly the unprecedented ocean warming, glacier retreat and ice loss in the Antarctic Sea, is of particular concern,” she added.

COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber said the world has no time to waste.

To limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, countries must make higher Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), economy-wide emissions reductions and investments in nature and adaptation, he stressed.

Concentrations of the three major greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – reached record-breaking levels, the report said.

At 417.9 parts per million (ppm), the global average concentration of carbon dioxide in 2022 was 50 percent higher than in the pre-industrial era, trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Real-time data showed that CO2 concentrations continued to rise in 2023, while global mean sea level reached a record high.

According to the WMO, the rate of sea level rise has more than doubled over the past decade (2014-2023) since the first decade of satellite recording (1993-2002).

The extent of sea ice in Antarctica reached an all-time low in February. The annual maximum extent was around 1 million square kilometers below the previous record low maximum.

The global reference glaciers for the hydrological year 2022-2023 experienced the greatest ice loss ever (1950-2023), driven by extremely negative mass balance in both western North America and Europe, the WMO noted.

Extreme weather and climate events have had significant socio-economic impacts on all inhabited continents, including major floods, tropical cyclones, extreme heat and drought, and associated wildfires, it said.

The WMO report also cited figures showing that the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity worldwide has more than doubled, from 149 million people before the COVID-19 pandemic to 333 million people in 2023 ( in 78 countries monitored by the World Food Program). .

WFP’s global hunger figures remained unchanged from 2021 to 2022.

However, these are still well above the level before the COVID-19 pandemic: in 2022, 9.2 percent of the world’s population (735.1 million people) were undernourished.

Protracted conflicts, economic downturns and high food prices, exacerbated by the high cost of agricultural inputs due to ongoing and widespread conflicts around the world, are at the root of high levels of global food insecurity, exacerbated by the impacts of climate and weather extremes becomes.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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