– WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, WMO climate statement: past 4 years warmest on record
Greenhouse gas emission are continuing to increase, temperatures over the past four years have been the warmest on record. The oceans are hotter, higher, and more acidic than ever, and arctic sea-ice keeps on shrinking. Meanwhile, many parts of the world are being ravaged by tropical storms, floods and heavy rains, heatwaves, droughts, snowstorms, and wildfires, many likely results of climate-change-related changes in global atmospheric and ocean circulation.
Unfortunately, it seems we have now passed a point of no return. The average global temperature has already reached approximately 1°C above pre-industrial levels, and the UN has warned that global attempts to ensure fossil fuel emissions peak by 2020 will most likely fail. Indeed the target will not even be reached by 2030, unless drastic measures are taken.
This is the world we are living in. But it’s not all over yet.