Global warming and rising seas are growing worse and more quickly than ever, according to an expert report released Sunday that the chief of the United Nations described as “a chronicle of climate chaos.”
Sea level rise in the past decade was double the rate of the 1990s and since January 2020, has speeded up even more, the World Meteorological Organization said in its annual state of the climate report released at the start of international climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
“The latest State of the Global Climate report is a chronicle of climate chaos,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “We must answer the planet’s distress signal with action — ambitious, credible climate action.”
Seas are rising at .2 inches a year, compared with .08 inches a year in the 1990s, according to the ominous report on recent weather trends, data and impacts.
The last eight years have been the warmest on record, and the rate of ocean warming in the last 15 years has been 67% faster than it was in 1971, the report stated.
The heating up of the oceans is “a change which is irreversible on centennial to millennial time scales,” it said.
It pointed to the devastating impact of extreme weather, such as the summer’s flood in Pakistan that killed more than 1,700 people and displaced 7.9 million, a four-year drought in East Africa that has created food shortages and hunger among more than 18 million people and record heat-waves in Europe and China.
Levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide all reached record high levels, with potent methane increasing at a record pace, the report said.
Greenland’s ice sheet and the world’s glaciers are shrinking precipitously, it said, noting the volume of glacier snow in Switzerland dropped by more than one-third from 2001 to 2022.
“What climate scientists have warned about for decades is upon us. And will continue to worsen without action,” said University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd.
“Two things must go away: Climate delayism and speaking about climate change impacts in the future tense. It’s here,” Shepherd said.
With News Wire Services