The UN weather agency has said that this year will likely be the warmest on record and 2016 only looks hotter. It has called for action to curb the extreme effects of human-induced global warming.
This year is likely to be the hottest individual year on record, with 2011-2015 becoming the hottest five-year period, according to a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) preliminary analysis released Wednesday.
“The state of the global climate in 2015 will make history for a number of reasons,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in an accompanying statement.
This year’s global average surface temperature is expected to reach 1° Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) higher than that of the “pre-industrial period” of 1880-1899. In addition, there are now more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than ever before.
“This is all bad news for the planet,” Jarraud added.
WMO released the analysis before the end of the year to inform negotiations and urge action at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris beginning November 30. More than 145 world leaders are expected to meet with the goal of reaching a pact to cap global warming at 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial era.
No cooling off in sight
The UN weather agency expects next year to be even hotter, with greenhouse gasses expected to rise as usual and this year’s strong El Nino will likely last into 2016.
El Nino is a natural weather pattern that often leaves drought and floods in its wake.
WMO attributes the rise in extreme weather conditions – including major heatwaves, droughts and cyclones – in large part to human-induced global warming.
Oceans also continue to heat up in turn and rise as a result of having to absorb 90% of the energy accumulated from human emissions of greenhouse gases.
“Greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing change, can be controlled,” Jarraud said.
“We have the knowledge and the tools to act. We have a choice. Future generations will not.”
jtm/jil (AFP, Reuters)