Past eight years eight hottest on record, UN report warns

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The acceleration of heat waves, glacier melts and torrential rains has led to a rise in natural disasters, the World Meteorological Organization said as the UN’s COP27 climate summit opened in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

“As COP27 gets under way, our planet is sending a distress signal,” said Guterres, who described the report as “a chronicle of climate chaos”.

Representatives from nearly 200 states gathered in Egypt will discuss how to keep the rise in temperatures to 1.5C, as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a goal some scientists say is now unattainable.

Earth has warmed more than 1.1C since the late 19th century with roughly half of that increase occurring in the past 30 years, the report showed.

This year is on track to be the fifth or sixth warmest ever recorded despite the impact since 2020 of La Nina, a periodic and naturally occurring phenomenon in the Pacific that cools the atmosphere.

“All the climatic indications are negative,” World Meteorological Organization head Petteri Taalas said. “We have broken records in main greenhouse gas concentrations, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide [levels].”

“I think the combination of the facts that we are bringing to the table and the fact that we have started seeing impacts of climate change worldwide … are wake-up calls, and that’s why we have this climate conference,” he said.

The past eight years are on track to be the hottest ever recorded, a United Nations report has found, as UN chief Antonio Guterres warned that the planet was sending “a distress signal”.

The UN’s weather and climate body released its annual state of the global climate report on Sunday with another warning that the target to limit temperature increases to 1.5C (2.7F) was “barely within reach”.

Agencies

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