State of the Global Climate in 2018
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) unveiled the State of the Global Climate in 2018 Report. The highlights of the report are:
- Extreme weather events impacted close to 62 million people in 2018 and displaced more than two million as of September of that year.
- The physical signs and socio-economic impacts of climate change are accelerating as record greenhouse gas concentrations drive global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels
- 2018 witnessed a record sea level rise and high land and ocean temperatures. 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record, and the four warmest years on record all took place between 2015 and 2018. The average global temperature is now around one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- 2018 also sets a new record for ocean heat in the top 700 meters (approximately 2,297 feet) and top 2,000 meters (approximately 6,562 feet).
- Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have jumped from 357 parts per million (ppm) in 1994 to 405.5 ppm in 2017.
- Flooding which was the climate-related disaster that impacted the largest number of people in 2018 more than 35 million.
- The global mean sea level hit a new record and was around 3.7 millimetres higher than in 2017.
- Arctic sea ice extent registered record lows for February and January of 2018. The maximum extent in March of that year was the third lowest in the 1979 to 2018 satellite record.
- Climate change could reverse progress made in fighting global malnutrition. In 2017, the number of people suffering from malnutrition increased to 821 million, and this was partly due to by droughts related to El Niño.
- Around 125 million more people were exposed to heat waves between 2000 and 2016and the average heat wave grew 0.37 days longer compared to heat waves between 1986 and 2008.
WMO has warned that the world would witness temperatures increase 3-5C by the end of the century. Unveiling the report the UN Chief called on countries to come with concrete plans at an upcoming climate summit.