Near Jindabyne in New South Wales (Australia), January 4, 2020. (S. Khan / AFP) - AFP

The past decade (2010-2019) has been the warmest on record, the UN announced on Wednesday. 2019 was the second hottest year in the world after 2016, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement, confirming the inexorable global warming of the Earth, marked by an increase in meteorological phenomena. extremes. And 2020 does not look better.

"Unfortunately, we expect to see a lot of extreme weather in 2020 and in the decades to come, fueled by record high levels of greenhouse gases that retain heat in the atmosphere," said the Secretary General. 'WMO, Petteri Taalas.

2019 was the second hottest year on record, continuing a decades-long trend of warming. The last five years have been the five warmest since modern recordkeeping became possible 140 years ago.

- NASA GISS (@NASAGISS) January 15, 2020

“High impact weather and climate events”

"The year 2020 started where 2019 ended - with high impact weather and climate events", such as in Australia, which "had its hottest and driest year on record in 2019", said he added. The record heat "set the stage for the huge bush fires that have been so devastating" for the huge mainland, he said.

These massive fires have killed 28 people, the official report said, destroyed more than 2,000 houses and burned an area of ​​100,000 square kilometers - larger than the area of ​​South Korea - and disrupted the qualifications of the Open. Australia.

"We are heading for a temperature increase of 3 to 5 degrees by the end of the century"

Overall, average temperatures for the past five and ten years have been the highest ever. Since the 1980s, each decade has been warmer than the last, according to the WMO, which expects the trend to continue. According to the specialized UN agency, the annual global temperature in 2019 is 1.1 ° C higher than the average recorded in pre-industrial times (1850-1900).

"Based on the current trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions, we are headed for a temperature increase of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century," warned Petteri Taalas. The 2015 Paris Agreement aims to limit this warming to + 2 ° C or even 1.5 ° C, but even if the some 200 signatory countries respect their commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, global warming could exceed 3 ° C.

WMO confirms that 2019 is 2nd warmest year on record, based on consolidated data from @NASAGISS, @NOAA, @metoffice, @CopernicusECMWF and Japan Meteorological Agency #ClimateChange 5nplGy5I60

- WMO | WMO (@WMO) January 15, 2020

Record temperatures aren't the only problem

Despite this observation, the UN climate conference (COP25) in December in Madrid was not up to the climate emergency, a missed opportunity deplored by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who calls for more ambition in the fight against global warming.

This global warming worries the UN all the more since record temperatures are not the only problem facing the international community. Ice melting, record sea levels, acidification and increasing ocean heat, extreme weather conditions ... are all phenomena that have characterized the past year and decade, according to the WMO.


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