The impacts from the climate crisis on health and economic structures will be more severe if they are not controlled in the necessary ways.
The current coronavirus pandemic is providing valuable lessons on ways to be prepared for future crises, actions to mitigate climate change, ecological technology development and the implementation of effective environmental policies.
The current outlook demands it: forest fires, heatwaves, glaciers melting at worrying levels and droughts, constitute evidence of global warming.
These problems also include tropical cyclones, with disastrous consequences to people’s lives and the destruction of important infrastructures and crops necessary for human livelihoods.
According to expert opinions, since 2012, every month temperatures higher than average have been recorded, and planet Earth is now around one degree Celsius warmer than in the second half of the 20th century.
The moment in which the one-and-a-half degrees Celsius barrier of global warming will be overcome seems ever closer with respect to those levels, one of the limits established by the Paris Agreement in 2015.
A recent study by the World Meteorological Organisation, with a dozen international institutions participating, shows that as time passes more possibilities to overcome the barrier exist.
As objectives, the French capital pact decided to keep the increase in global average temperature way below two degrees Celsius, in comparison with the values of the pre-industrial age (1850-1900) and proceed with efforts to limit this increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
According to the State of the Climate, published on 12 August 2019 by the American Meteorological Society, greenhouse gases are at their highest recorded levels.
Every decade since 1980 has been increasingly warmer than the last, and the most recent (2010-2019) has overtaken the previous one (2000-2009) by 0.2 degrees. According to the report, the principal driver of climate change is “the abundance of many greenhouse gases over a long period that keeps increasing”.
On the other hand, this study found that the six warmest years happened from 2014 to 2019, and the latter was among the top three highest temperatures.
The average sea surface temperatures in 2019 were the second highest recorded, just below those of 2016, and sea levels rose to a new record for the eighth consecutive year.
Also, air surface temperatures in the Arctic were the second highest in 120 years of records, and in the Antarctic, 2019 was the second warmest year since 1979.
The analysis, based on contributions of more than 520 scientists in 60 countries, determined that the influence of warming on the main concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, was 45% higher than in 1990. (PL)