UN Report: Last 10 Years Likely the Hottest Decade on Record
The United Nations weather agency says the past 10 years were likely the hottest decade since scientists began keeping records.
In a new report, the World Meteorological Organization, or WMO, blames the rising temperatures mainly on greenhouse gases produced by human activities.
"Average temperatures for the five-year, 2015-to-2019 and 10-year, 2010-to-2019 periods are almost certain to be the highest on record," the WMO said.
The report predicted that 2019 would become the second- or third-warmest year on record. Final temperature measurements will not be available for several months.
Petteri Taalas is the Secretary-General of the WMO. He says severe heatwaves and floods that used to happen about once every hundred years have become "regular" events.
"Countries ranging from the Bahamas to Japan to Mozambique suffered the effect of devastating tropical cyclones. Wildfires swept through the Arctic and Australia," he noted.
Taalas said that one of the main effects of climate change is the lack of predictable rainfall. This presents a threat to successful harvests and will likely create food security problems in some countries in the future, he said.
The report said climate change was a main driver of a recent increase in world hunger after 10 years of decrease. It estimated that about 820 million people suffered from hunger in 2018.
The WMO said that weather disasters have displaced millions of people this year and affected rainfall from India to northern Russia, to the central United States and other areas.
Oceans, which take in an estimated 90 percent of the extra heat produced by greenhouse gases, are now at their highest recorded temperatures. Sea water is also 25 percent more acidic than it was 150 years ago, the report said. This is threatening ocean environments that provide food and jobs for billions of people.
Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record 407.8 parts per million in 2018 and continued to rise in 2019. Experts say carbon dioxide can be damaging because it can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and in the ocean for even longer.
On Monday, at the opening of a climate meeting in Spain, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that 400 parts per million had once been considered "unthinkable." The UN Climate Change Conference brings together representatives from around the world to seek solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Last year, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set a goal for countries to limit temperature increases to 1.5 Celsius or below. The group said this target could be reached by reducing greenhouse gases and restructuring the world economy to expand renewable energy sources.
The UN reported last week that the world needed to cut carbon emissions by 7.6 percent each year, every year, until 2030, to reach the 1.5 Celsius temperature goal.
The WMO's Petteri Taalas urged the world to quickly launch steps aimed at reducing temperatures before it is too late. "If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°Celsius by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing," he said.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.greenhouse gas 温室气体
Greenhouse gas emissions have also risen.
2.human wellbeing 人类福祉
Human well-being is a core global issue.
3.aimed at 致力于
These processes are aimed at learning and continuous improvement.
4.Climate Change 气候变化
We are all victims of climate change.
5.Last year, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set a goal for countries to limit temperature increases to 1.5 Celsius or below.
set a goal for 确定目标
He set a goal for the guitar and himself early in life.
In that case, I have no more to say. If you want to succeed in life, I think to set a goal for yourself is of great importance.
6.It estimated that about 820 million people suffered from hunger in 2018.
suffered from 遭受
At home, the economy suffered from inflation and recession.
Only a few months ago, parts of the southwest suffered from the worst drought in a century.
这份报告预计2019年将成为有记录以来气温第二高或第三高的年份 。最终的温度测定值还要几个月才能公布 。
佩特里·塔拉斯是世界气象组织的秘书长 。他说，过去每一百年才会发生的酷热和洪水已经成为了常态 。
他指出：“从巴哈马到日本再到莫桑比克，这些国家都遭受了热带气旋破坏性的影响 。野火席卷了北极和澳大利亚 。”
塔拉斯表示，气候变化的主要影响之一是缺乏可预测的降水 。他说这对丰收构成威胁，将来可能会在某些国家造成粮食安全问题 。
这份报告称，气候变化是全球饥饿问题经过10年的减轻，最近又加剧的主要驱动力 。据估计，2018年约有8.2亿人遭受了饥饿之苦 。
海洋吸收了温室气体产生的90%的额外热量，目前海洋的温度正处于有记录的最高水平 。报告称海水的酸性也比150%提高了25% 。这威胁到了为数十亿人提供食物和就业机会的海洋环境 。
大气中的二氧化碳含量在2018年达到了创纪录的百万分之407.8，并在2019年继续攀升 。专家表示，二氧化碳可能具有破坏性，因为它可以在大气中留存数百年，在海洋中会存留更长时间 。
周一在西班牙举行的气候会议的开幕式上，联合国秘书长古特雷斯警告说，二氧化碳含量达到百万分之四百曾经被认为是“不可想像的 。”联合国气候变化大会汇集了来自世界各地的代表以寻求减少温室气体排放的解决方案 。
去年，联合国政府间气候变化专家组为各国设定了一个目标，将控制温度升高不超过1.5摄氏度 。该组织表示，可以通过减少温室气体排放和重组世界经济以扩大可再生能源来实现这个目标 。
世界气象组织的塔拉斯督促全球迅速采取行动降低温度，以免为时已晚 。他说：“如果我们现在不采取紧急气候行动，那么到本世纪末，温度将会升高超过3摄氏度，这将对人类福祉造成更大的危害 。”