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Hot and Wild weather conditions mostly due to Human Activity

©Photo: WMO

8 November 2016 – Storms, droughts, intense heatwaves, terrible floods and other extreme meteorological phenomena are becoming more and more frequent. Furthermore, they are in great deal linked to the impact that human activity has on global warming. These are the conclusions of the report on global climate made public today by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

In 2015, the warmest year ever recorded, the average temperature on earth rose by 1 degree since the pre-industrial era. As a reminder, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change which entered into force on 4 November aims to maintain the rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees by the end of the century. Ideally, it states that the rise should be closer to 1.5 degrees.

The WMO press release states that the record temperatures observed between 2011 and 2015 were accompanied by a rise in ocean levels as well as a decrease of ice in the Arctic, glaciers and snow coverage in the Northern hemisphere.

During this period the Arctic ice layer had decreased by 28 percent on average compared to the average between 1981 and 2010. As for ocean levels, they rose by an average of 3 mm a year between 1993 and today, against 1.7 mm between 1990 and 2010. The volume of the oceans also rose due to global warming, as the WMO observes.

Out of 79 studies published between 2011 and 2014 by the American Meteorological Society, more than half of them establish a link between human activity’s impact on climate and extreme meteorological phenomena. This particularly concerns heatwaves, such as the heatwave in the USA in 2012, in Australia in 2013 and the extremely hot summers in Western Europe, also in 2013.

All continents are affected by these extreme phenomena. Among them, one can think of the droughts in East Africa between 2010 and 2012, and in Southern Africa from 2013 to 2015, the heatwaves in India and Pakistan in 2015, and hurricane Sandy in the USA in 2012, as well as hurricane typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013.

 

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