World is heading in wrong direction, says United in Science report | India News

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BATHINDA: The United in Science report released on Tuesday highlighted huge gap between aspirations and reality pointing towards world heading in the wrong direction on climate. The report prepared by various agencies but coordinated by World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), warns that without much more ambitious action, the physical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change will be increasingly devastating.
The report shows that greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise to record highs. Fossil fuel emission rates are now above pre-pandemic levels after a temporary drop due to lockdowns. The ambition of emissions reduction pledges for 2030 needs to be seven times higher to be in line with the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement. India has been shown as from among the big emitters of Green House Gases (GHG) and Delhi as one of the most impacted city.
The past seven years were the warmest on record. There is a 48% chance that, during at least one year in the next 5 years, the annual mean temperature will temporarily be 1.5°C higher than 1850-1900 average.
Cities that host billions of people and are responsible for up to 70% of human-caused emissions will face increasing socio-economic impacts. The most vulnerable populations will suffer most, says the report.
“Floods, droughts, heatwaves, extreme storms and wildfires are going from bad to worse, breaking records with alarming frequency. Heatwaves in Europe, colossal floods in Pakistan, prolonged and severe droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States, there is nothing natural about the new scale of these disasters. They are the price of humanity’s fossil fuel addiction,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
“Climate science is increasingly able to show that many of the extreme weather events that we are experiencing have become more likely and more intense due to human-induced climate change. It is more important than ever that we scale up action on early warning systems to build resilience to current and future climate risks in vulnerable communities. That is why WMO is spearheading a drive to ensure Early Warnings for All in the next five years,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas.
United in Science provides an overview of the most recent science related to climate change, its impacts and responses.
Levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO ), methane (CH ) and nitrous oxide (N O) continue to rise. The temporary reduction in CO emissions in 2020 during the pandemic had little impact on the growth of atmospheric concentrations (what remains in the atmosphere after CO is absorbed by the ocean and biosphere), says report.
Global fossil CO emissions in 2021 returned to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 after falling by 5.4% in 2020 due to widespread lockdowns. Preliminary data shows that global CO emissions in 2022 (January to May) are 1.2% above the levels recorded during the same period in 2019, driven by increases in the United States, India and most European countries.
A quarter of GHG emissions from land-use change are associated with the trade of food between countries, of which more than three quarters are due to land clearing for agriculture, including grazing.
The most recent seven years, 2015 to 2021 were the warmest on record. The 2018–2022 global mean temperature average (based on data up to May or June 2022) is estimated to be 1.17 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850–1900 average. A La Niña event has had a slight cooling effect on temperatures in 2021/22 but this will be temporary.
Global Climate Predictions for 2022–2026
The annual mean global near-surface temperature for each year from 2022-2026 is predicted to be between 1.1 °C and 1.7 °C higher than pre-industrial levels (1850-1900).
The likelihood of the annual mean global near-surface temperature temporarily exceeding 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels for at least one of the next five years is 48% and is increasing with time. However, there is only a small probability (10%) that the five-year mean will exceed this threshold. The Paris Agreement level of 1.5 °C refers to long-term warming, but individual years above 1.5 °C are expected to occur with increasing regularity as global temperatures approach this long-term threshold.
There is a 93% probability that at least one year in the next five will be warmer than the warmest year on record, 2016, and that the mean temperature for 2022–2026 will be higher than that of the last five years
Enhanced mitigation action is needed to prevent the goals of the Paris Agreement from slipping out of reach, report says.
Collectively, countries are falling short of meeting their new or updated pledges with current policies.
Climate Change and Cities
Cities – home to 55% of the global population, or 4.2 billion people – are responsible for up to 70% of human-caused emissions while also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as increased heavy precipitation, accelerated sea-level rise, acute and chronic coastal flooding and extreme heat, among other key risks. These impacts exacerbate socioeconomic challenges and inequalities.
Globally, by the 2050s, over 1.6 billion people living in over 970 cities will be regularly exposed to 3-month average temperatures reaching at least 35 °C (95 °F).
Between March and May 2022, Delhi experienced five heat waves with record-breaking temperatures reaching up to 49.2 °C (120.5 °F). With half of Delhi’s population living in low-income settlements and highly vulnerable to extreme heat, this heatwave led to devastating socioeconomic and public health impacts.
Cities have an important role in addressing climate change by implementing inclusive, urgent and scaled-up mitigation action and increasing the adaptive capacity of billions of urban inhabitants. Now is the time to integrate adaptation and mitigation, coupled with sustainable development, into the ever-dynamic urban environment.
Extreme Weather Events and Socioeconomic Impacts
The number of weather, climate and water-related disasters has increased by a factor of five over the past 50 years, causing US$ 202 million in losses daily.



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