‘Climate catastrophe’ closer as key indicators set record levels in 2021

Geneva, May 18 (EFE).- Four key climate change indicators reached record levels in 2021 as the world edged closer to “climate catastrophe”, the United Nations warned in a gloomy report published Wednesday.

Greenhouse gas concentrations, rising sea-levels, ocean heat and ocean acidification all set new records in 2021 according to the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Global Climate in 2021 report.

The last seven years have been the warmest on record and the average global temperature in 2021 was around 1.11C above pre-industrial levels, the report added.

Ocean warming rates continued to rise to record levels in 2021, with much of the ocean witnessing “at least one strong marine heatwave at some point in 2021,” the WMO said.

“The global energy system is broken and bringing us ever closer to climate catastrophe,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned in a statement. “Fossil fuels are a dead end — environmentally and economically.”

The UN chief outlined a five-point action plan to bolster a clean energy transition amid “humanity’s failure to tackle climate disruption.”

Guterres said enhanced access to green technologies, knowledge sharing, ramping up private and public funding of renewables and halting subsidies of fossil fuels, which account for $11 million per minute, were essential to end fossil fuel pollution.

“Renewables are the only path to real energy security, stable power prices and sustainable employment opportunities,” said Mr Guterres. “If we act together, the renewable energy transformation can be the peace project of the 21st century.”

According to the report, ocean acidification has plunged marine pH to its lowest levels in the last 26,000 years, threatening ecosystems, food security, tourism and coastal safety.

The mean sea level reached record highs and rose an average of 4.5 millimeters per year between 2013-21, twice the rate recorded between 1993 and 2002, which was primarily due to an acceleration in the loss of ice mass and ice sheets.

The report comes ahead of the Davos Forum which will be held in Switzerland and will see political and economic international leaders discuss key issues, including strategies to achieve global climate goals by 2030 and 2050.EFE


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