UN REPORT ON CLIMATE AND GLACIERS
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- The world's glaciers melted at dramatic speed last year and saving them is effectively a lost cause- United Nations Report.
Findings of the Report
- The last eight years have been the warmest ever recorded, while concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide hit new peaks.
- Antarctic sea ice fell to its lowest extent on record and the melting of some European glaciers was, literally, off the charts.
- Sea levels are also at a record high, having risen by an average of 4.62 millimetres per year between 2013 and 2022 -- double the annual rate between 1993 and 2002.
- Record high temperatures were also recorded in the oceans -- where around 90 percent of the heat trapped on Earth by greenhouse gases ends up.
- The 2015 Paris Agreement saw countries agree to cap global warming at "well below" two degrees Celsius above average levels measured between 1850 and 1900 -- and 1.5C if possible.
- The global mean temperature in 2022 was 1.15C above the 1850-1900 average.
- Record global mean temperatures over the past eight years came despite the cooling impact of a drawn-out La Nina weather phenomenon that stretched over nearly half that period.
- The report said greenhouse gas concentrations reached new highs in 2021. The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 415.7 parts per million globally, or 149 percent of the pre-industrial (1750) level, while methane reached 262 percent and nitrous oxide hit 124 percent.
- The world's 40-odd reference glaciers -- those for which long-term observations exist -- saw an average thickness loss of more than 1.3 metres between October 2021 and October 2022 -- a loss much larger than the average over the last decade.
- The cumulative thickness loss since 1970 amounts to almost 30 metres.
- To battle climate change are becoming more affordable, with green energy becoming cheaper than fossil fuels, while the world is developing better mitigation methods.
- The planet is no longer heading towards 3-5 C warming, as forecast in 2014, but was now on track for 2.5-3 C warming.
- In the best case, we would still be able to reach 1.5 C warming, which would be best for the welfare of mankind, the biosphere and the global economy.
- 32 countries had reduced their emissions and their economies still grew.
- There is no more automatic link between economic growth and emissions growth.
- In stark contrast to the world leaders of 10 years ago, now "practically all of them are talking about climate change as a serious problem and countries have started acting".
Q. To battle climate change are becoming more affordable, with green energy becoming cheaper than fossil fuels, while the world is developing better mitigation methods. Do you agree?