DATE: September 22, 2019
SNIP: The signs and impacts of global heating are speeding up, the latest science on climate change, published ahead of key UN talks in New York, says.
The data, compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), says the five-year period from 2014 to 2019 is the warmest on record.
Sea-level rise has accelerated significantly over the same period, as CO2 emissions have hit new highs.
The climate statement is a pull-together of the latest science on the causes and growing impacts of unprecedented levels of warming seen in recent years.
Recognising that global temperatures have risen by 1.1 degrees C since 1850, the paper notes they have gone up by 0.2C between 2011 and 2015.
This is as a result of burgeoning emissions of carbon, with the amount of the gas going into the atmosphere between 2015 and 2019 growing by 20% compared with the previous five years.
Perhaps most worrying of all is the data on sea-level rise.
The average rate of rise since 1993 until now is 3.2mm per year. However, from May 2014 to 2019 the rise has increased to 5mm per year. The 10-year period from 2007-2016 saw an average of about 4mm per year.
“Sea-level rise has accelerated and we are concerned that an abrupt decline in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, which will exacerbate future rise,” said WMO secretary general Petteri Taalas.
The report also highlights the threats to the oceans, with more than 90% of the excess heat caused by climate change ending up in the waters. The WMO analysis says 2018 had the highest ocean heat content values on record.