Last year, we saw record breaking events triggered by man made climate change. 2016 was the warmest year, three years in a row and 2017 may follow that trend. This is seriously bad news.
The World Meteorological Organization or WMO has released their annual report that you can see here. This is the first time they have partnered with the United Nations. This is because climate change just does not affect the weather. It has social and economic effects too. WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said
“Globally averaged sea surface temperatures were also the warmest on record, global sea levels continued to rise, and Arctic sea-ice extent was well below average for most of the year. With levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere consistently breaking new records, the influence of human activities on the climate system has become more and more evident.”
The report states that every year, since 2001, at least 0.4°C increase in temperature has been noted that the baseline of 1961-1990. Also, temperatures are going up by 0.1°C to 0.2°C every decade. The warming was accelerated with the El Nino that developed in the east of the Americas.
The Arctic is hit the most with record low ice levels. Arctic ice is decreasing and at this rate, we will see ice free arctic summers soon. A staggering 4 million square kilometers of ice was missing last November, 3.2% of Arctic ice is decreasing every year.
An Uncharted Territory
Recent surveys have shown that man-made climate change is real, and it’s in the near future that we will feel its impact. This includes extreme heatwaves, hurricanes, and severe economic losses.
World Climate Research Programme Director David Carlson said, “Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory.”