The Heat Is On – WMO Sounds Global Red Alert – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

A new World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report shows record-smashing spikes in greenhouse gas levels, surface temperatures, and ocean heat.

The report also showed ocean acidification, sea level rise, Antarctic sea ice cover and glacier retreat.

At the same time, the WMO noted that heatwaves, floods, droughts, wildfires, and rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones have not only caused millions to suffer misery and mayhem but also inflicted billions of dollars in economic losses.

The WMO State of the Global Climate 2023 report, a testament to the scientific consensus, confirmed that 2023 was the warmest year on record.

The WMO noted that on an average day in 2023, nearly one-third of the global ocean was gripped by a marine heatwave, harming vital ecosystems and food systems.

“The WMO community is sounding the Red Alert to the world,” declared a deeply concerned Secretary-General, Celeste Saulo, emphasizing the severity of the problem.

Saulo declared that the climate crisis was humanity’s defining challenge, associated with growing food insecurity, population displacement, and biodiversity loss.

According to the WMO, global average near-surface temperatures were at 1.45 °Celsius, with a margin of uncertainty of ± 0.12 °C, above the pre-industrial baseline.

However, on an optimistic note, the WMO report disclosed that 2023 renewable capacity additions soared by almost 50 percent.

It was the highest observed rate in two decades.

In addition, from 2021 to 2022, global climate-related finance flows nearly doubled compared to 2019-2020, reaching almost $1.3 trillion.

However, this amounts to only about one percent of global GDP, underscoring a significant financing gap.