As COP22 entered its second week, WMO published a report stating that 2016 is likely the hottest year on record, with world leaders such as Trump urged to take action.
For those in denial of climate change, a harsh reality check has come from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in the 22nd session of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP22). WMO has reported that 2016 is most likely the hottest year on record, with global temperatures rising at alarming rates. “Preliminary data shows that 2016’s global temperatures are approximately 1.2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” stated the WMO, in its provisional report that had been released at the UN climate conference that is underway in Marrakesh, Morocco.
The El Nino weather phenomenon played a small role in the record warm temperatures seen in 2015 and 2016, but the majority of the warming stems from the accumulation of greenhouse gases, experts pointed out. “Another year. Another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016,” said WMO secretary-general, Petteri Taalas. He said, “The extra heat from the powerful El Nino event has disappeared. The heat from global warming will continue.”
— WMO | OMM (@WMO) November 14, 2016
The release of report took place among the global participants in the conference who are assessing the challenges and requirements in the implementation of the legally binding Paris Climate agreement
Emphasizing on the importance of the Paris Agreement, Taalas said, “WMO is working to improve monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions to help countries reduce them. Better climate predictions over timescales of weeks to decades will help key sectors like agriculture, water management, health and energy plan for and adapt to the future. More impact-based weather forecasts and early warning systems will save lives both now and in the years ahead.”
Donald Trump singled out
The stance on environment and climate change that the next US President, Donald Trump holds has left many scientists and environmentalists concerned. Trump is believed to have once stated that climate change is a hoax. French President Francois Hollande and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon took note of Trump’s stance and remarked yesterday at Marrakesh. Hollande stated, “The United States, the largest economic power in the world, the second largest greenhouse gas emitter, must respect the commitments it has undertaken.”
Ban remained hopeful and stated that Trump’s professional background as a “very successful business person” would help him understand that market forces were driving the world economy towards cleaner energies and away from fossil fuels. He added, “I am sure he will make a fast and wise decision on the Paris Agreement.”
India needs to step up
“Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen. ‘Once in a generation’ heat waves and flooding are becoming more regular. Sea level rise has increased exposure to storm surges associated with tropical cyclones,” said Taalas.
India recorded a new national temperature when Phalodi in the western state of Rajasthan reached an alarming 51° Celsius on May 19. This was one among many heat waves and extreme events that the country has faced in 2016. India has also pledged to take steps to address global warming and ratified the Paris Climate Change agreement. In the wake of such a report outlining the drastic situation the planet is currently facing, it is essential that the country and the world take stringent measures.