IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


31st July, 2023 Environment

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  • July 2023 witnessed the highest global temperatures since records began, possibly the warmest in tens of thousands of years.
  • A recent report on Asia's climate indicates a rise in extreme weather events, leading to socio-economic impacts in the region.
  • Human-caused climate change is identified as the common thread across all reports, necessitating urgent adaptation measures.


Global Impact of Human-Caused Climate Change

  • Human-induced climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels, releases greenhouse gases, leading to a greenhouse effect and global warming.
  • Extreme weather events are not limited to higher temperatures but include disruptions to weather patterns, contributing to floods and droughts worldwide.

Asia: Vulnerable to Climate Change

  • In 2022, Asia faced 81 natural hazard events, mainly floods and storms, affecting over 50 million people and causing $36 billion in damages.
  • Countries like India, China, and Pakistan have suffered severe impacts, such as floods, landslides, and droughts, causing significant casualties and economic losses.

Urgency of Climate Action and Adaptation

  • Climate action and adaptation measures are crucial to address the climate crisis.
  • Developed countries must contribute to climate finance, while emerging economies should reduce fossil fuel use.
  • Immediate and aggressive emission reduction targets are essential to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  • Local adaptation initiatives, like disaster-proofing communities, are vital to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events.

Collective Efforts for Climate Justice

  • Climate justice demands equitable climate action, as those least responsible for climate change often suffer the most.
  • Developed countries must support vulnerable nations in their adaptation efforts, fulfilling their climate finance commitments.
  • The G20 leaders' summit, under India's presidency, is an opportunity for leaders to step up climate action.

Recent Extreme Weather Events

  • Several regions worldwide reported record-breaking temperatures, including south peninsular India in June 2023.
  • July 3, 2023, set the record for the hottest day ever recorded globally.
  • Countries like the United States, Spain, Italy, France, and Greece faced surging temperatures and wildfires due to human-induced climate change.

Hottest Month on Record: WMO Report

  • The first three weeks of July 2023 were the warmest on record, with the global mean surface air temperature averaging 16.95 degrees Celsius.
  • The global average sea surface temperature contributed to the exceptionally warm July.
  • Extreme weather events affected millions of people and the environment, highlighting the urgency of climate action.

Hottest Month in 'Tens of Thousands of Years': NASA Report

  • NASA scientists warn that July 2023 is likely the warmest month on record in hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
  • The burning of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are to blame for the hot July, with more record-breaking months expected.
  • The report highlights the need for urgent climate action to address extreme conditions in the near future.

World Meteorological Organization

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting international cooperation in the field of meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology, and related geophysical sciences.
  • The organization was established in 1950 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Key Functions of WMO

  • Facilitating International Cooperation: WMO acts as a platform for its member countries to collaborate on weather, climate, and water-related issues. It fosters the exchange of meteorological and hydrological data, information, and technologies among its member states.
  • Standardizing Weather Observations and Data: WMO establishes international standards and guidelines for weather observations, data collection, and data sharing. This helps ensure uniformity and accuracy in weather and climate data across the globe.
  • Improving Weather Forecasting and Early Warning Systems: WMO supports the development and enhancement of weather forecasting models and early warning systems to provide timely and accurate information about severe weather events like storms, hurricanes, floods, and droughts.
  • Climate Research and Services: WMO conducts research on climate variability and change, including the study of long-term climate trends and patterns. It also provides climate services to member countries to help them adapt to climate impacts.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction: WMO plays a critical role in disaster risk reduction by providing countries with information and tools to prepare for and respond to weather-related disasters effectively.
  • Capacity Building: WMO offers training programs and capacity-building initiatives to enhance the meteorological and hydrological capabilities of its member states, especially in developing countries.
  • Collaborating with Other UN Agencies: WMO collaborates with other United Nations agencies and international organizations to address global challenges related to weather, climate, and water resources.

Membership and Governance

  • WMO has 193 member states and territories, making it one of the largest specialized agencies of the United Nations. It operates through various technical commissions and programs, each focusing on specific aspects of meteorology and hydrology.
  • WMO's highest governing body is the World Meteorological Congress, which meets every four years to set policies, adopt regulations, and determine the organization's budget and priorities.
  • The WMO Executive Council, consisting of 37 member states elected by the Congress, manages the organization's activities between Congress sessions.
  • WMO plays a crucial role in global efforts to address climate change, improve weather forecasting, and protect communities from weather-related hazards. Its work is instrumental in building resilience to climate impacts and promoting sustainable development worldwide.


The reports on July 2023's record-breaking heat and Asia's increasing vulnerability to extreme weather events underscore the urgent need for climate action and adaptation measures. Humanity must work collectively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transition to renewable energy sources, and support vulnerable communities in coping with changing climate conditions. Urgent climate action is necessary to limit the severe impacts of extreme weather events and secure a sustainable future for the planet.


Q. How can countries, particularly the G20 nations, collaborate to accelerate climate action and ensure a sustainable future? Provide insights into the urgency of adaptation measures and the importance of collective efforts in combating the climate crisis.  (250 Words)