The rate of climate change surged “alarmingly” between 2011 and 2020, the warmest decade on record, the UN weather agency said in a report Tuesday.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report, released at the Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, said that it is much harder to try to limit the global temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius than it was in the pre-industrial period (1850-1900).
It was emphasized that effective climate actions are needed.
“Public and private climate finance almost doubled between 2011 and 2020,” it said.
“However, it needs to increase at least seven times by the end of this decade to achieve climate objectives.”
The report was based on physical data analyses and impact assessments from dozens of experts at National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, Regional Climate Centers, National Statistics Offices and UN partners.
Ice sheet loss
The reports said that in the 2011-2020 period glacier and ice sheet loss was unprecedented, sea level rises accelerated, and ocean heat and acidification damaged marine ecosystems.
It also said extreme weather undermined sustainable development, but the ozone layer was on track to recovery.
Providing a glimmer of hope, the report said the Antarctic ozone hole was smaller in the 2011-2020 period than during the two previous decades.
This was due to successful and concerted international action to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals, an indication of the success of the Montreal Protocol.
“Each decade since the 1990s has been warmer than the previous one and we see no immediate sign of this trend reversing,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said.
Around 90 percent of the accumulated heat in the Earth system is stored in the ocean, the report said.
Ocean warming rates show a particularly strong increase in the past two decades.
A consequence of the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the ocean is its acidification–a drop in the oceanic pH, which makes it more challenging for marine organisms to build and maintain their shells and skeletons.
During the 2011-2020 decade, Greenland lost a lot of mass and reached a new record mass loss.
“The Antarctic continental ice sheet lost ice at an average rate of 143 Gt yr- during this decade, with more than three-quarters of this mass loss coming from West Antarctica,” the report said.
“Compared to the previous decade (2001-2010), this represents an increase of nearly 75 percent in ice losses. This is not the same as Antarctic sea ice.” (PNA)