New Report For UN Climate Action Summit Reveals Stark Reality

The five-year period from 2014 to 2019 is the warmest on record, and worse days are ahead, scientists warned in the latest report on climate change, which will be discussed at a United Nations Climate Action Summit Monday.

The world’s leading climate science organizations joined forces to produce the report, with facts and figures highlighting the glaring gap between agreed targets to tackle global warming and the current reality.

The report, titled “United in Science”, includes details on the state of the climate and presents trends in the emissions and atmospheric concentrations of the main greenhouse gases.

It highlights the urgency of fundamental socio-economic transformation in key sectors such as land use and energy in order to avert dangerous global temperature increase with potentially irreversible impacts. It also examines tools to support both mitigation and adaptation.

“The Report provides a unified assessment of the state of our Earth system under the increasing influence of anthropogenic climate change, of humanity’s response thus far and of the far-reaching changes that science projects for our global climate in the future,” said the Science Advisory Group to the Summit.

The data, compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), consists of short summaries from contributing agencies such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The synthesis, complemented by longer, individual reports, will be presented as a package to world leaders at the Climate Action Summit that gets underway in New York today.

Estimated to be 1.1°Celsius above pre-industrial times, the average global temperature for 2015-2019 is on track to be the warmest on record, the report says.

Widespread and long-lasting heatwaves, record-breaking fires and other devastating events such as tropical cyclones, floods and drought have had major impact on socio-economic development and the environment, the report says.

Arctic summer sea-ice extent has declined drastically, sea-level rise is accelerating, and sea water is becoming more acidic.

The most alarming data contained in this report is that levels of the main long-lived greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have reached new highs.

In 2018, global CO2 concentration was 407.8 parts per million (ppm), 2.2 ppm higher than 2017. Preliminary data from greenhouse gas monitoring indicate that CO2 concentrations are on track to exceed 410 ppm by the end of 2019.

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