December 2nd, the World Meteorological Organization released the interim report “Global Climate State 2020”, pointing out that climate change continues, and 2020 will be one of the warmest three years on record.
According to the latest report, the ocean heat is at record levels in 2020, and more than 80% of the world’s oceans have experienced ocean heat waves at certain times, which has a wide impact on marine ecosystems that have suffered more acidic waters due to carbon dioxide absorption.
The report shows that high-impact events such as extreme heat, wildfires and floods, as well as the record Atlantic hurricane season, affect millions of people, exacerbating the threat of the COVID-19 epidemic to human health, safety and economic stability. Despite the lockdown measures taken by countries in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continue to rise. Given the long time carbon dioxide has remained in the atmosphere, the earth will warm further in the coming generations.
The World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Taras said that the global average temperature in 2020 will be about 1.2 degrees Celsius higher than the pre-industrial level (1850-1900). The chance of a short-lived 1.5°C rise by 2024 is at least one-fifth. Taras said: “This year marks the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and welcomes all the commitments made by governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are not on track yet, and more needs to be done.”
Taras also noted that record warm years usually coincide with the strong El Niño phenomenon, as in 2016. We are now experiencing the La Niña phenomenon, which has a cooling effect on global temperatures, but it is not enough to contain this year’s high temperatures. Despite the current La Niña condition, this year has seen near-record high temperatures, comparable to previous records in 2016.
Taras also pointed out that unfortunately, 2020 is another extraordinary year for the climate. He said: “We have seen new extreme temperatures on land, the sea and even the Arctic. Wildfires have devoured large areas of Australia, Siberia, the West Coast of the United States and South America, and smoke feathers spread all over the world. We have seen a record number of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, including an unprecedented number of consecutive Category 4 hurricanes in Central America in November. Flooding in parts of Africa and Southeast Asia has displaced a large number of people and millions of people have fallen into food insecurity.
The interim report, State of Global Climate 2020, is based on temperature data from January to October this year, and the final report will be published in March 2021. The report brings together the efforts of dozens of international organizations and experts. ( Chief Taiwan reporter Zhang Jinghao)