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Climate impact ‘worse than we thought,’ UN’s Guterres says


By Will Wade / Bloomberg

LONDON
Petroleumworld 09 16 2021

Climate change is buffeting the planet harder and sooner than expected and efforts to slow it down still aren’t aggressive enough, according to the United Nations.

The group’s United in Science 2021 report published Thursday compiles the most recent findings from numerous climate agencies and research groups, and documents the alarming shifts in the Earth’s atmosphere. Sea levels have risen 20 centimeters (8 inches) from 1900 to 2018 and average global temperatures are up by at least 1.06 degrees Celsius (1.9 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels.

That’s triggering devastating natural disasters this year, including wildfires in Europe and Siberia, floods in Germany and sizzling heat waves in the U.S. and Canada.

“The disruption to our climate and our planet is already worse than we thought, and it is moving faster than predicted,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a video statement accompanying the report. “We continue to destroy the things upon which we depend for life on Earth.”

Researchers have warned that holding the warming trend to no more than 1.5 degrees is critical to preventing the worst effects of climate change. However, that would require global emissions to be halved by 2030 and governments aren’t on track to achieve that.

“We are far from meeting the goals of the 5-year-old Paris Agreement,” Guterres said.

The report was compiled by the World Meteorological Organization, and included research from groups including Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, World Health Organization and Global Carbon Project.

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