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article imageWMO warns that urgent action needed as temperatures rise

By Karen Graham     Sep 23, 2019 in Environment
The global average temperature is set to rise to at least 1.2 to 1.3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels over the next five years, a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) official said on Monday.
On August 18, 2019, Iceland held a funeral for Okjökull, the first glacier lost to climate change. Iceland's Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, speaking to the press at the somber occasion, warned that if current trends continue, her country stands to lose even more of its iconic glaciers in the near future.
The WMO's predictions - along with the loss of another iconic glacier - comes as governments are meeting in New York this week for the U.N. Climate Action Summit to build on their pledges from the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to cap the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees.
A plaque placed at the former location of the Icelandic Okjökull glacier  which disappeared due to ...
A plaque placed at the former location of the Icelandic Okjökull glacier, which disappeared due to climate change.
Rice University
The prediction also comes after the UN agency released a report on Sunday that showed the period from 2015 to 2019 was set to be the warmest five-year period on record, rising by 0.2 degrees Celsius over 2011-2015.
Petteri Taalas from the WMO says, "To stop a global temperature increase of more than 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, the level of ambition needs to be tripled. And to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees, it needs to be multiplied by five."
So it is very obvious that with a rise of 0.2 degrees C over the 2011 - 2015 levels - another rise in the temperatures over the next five years is going to be disastrous.
"Not only are these statistics alarming - but they dispel any false sense of security that maybe we will muddle through this," Maxx Dilley, director of the climate prediction and adaptation division of the WMO, told journalists, reports CBC Canada.
Carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere have hit record highs as man-made greehouse gas emi...
Carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere have hit record highs as man-made greehouse gas emissions continue to grow
"There is going to have to be a dramatic scale-up in the level of ambition and as well as in the level of actual follow through on the current policies that are intending to address this," he added.
Another element of global warming is the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The records for the same period in the temperature data shows the pace of carbon dioxide growth is up 20 percent versus the last five-year assessment, Dilley told journalists.
He explained there is a lag period in when the world's climate responds to greenhouse gasses. This means that the emissions produced today can affect temperatures 20 years later, basically locking in global warming for our future. The atmospheric CO2 level for September 22, 2019, was 408.47 ppm, up from 405.90 ppm on September 22, 2018, according to data supplied by CO2.Earth.
More about World meteorological organization, 20 degrees Celsius, preindustrial levels, climate chanfe, Climate crisis
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