The World Meteorological Organization warned Monday of a “relentless” worsening of the climate crisis in 2020, as average temperatures soared to 1.2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. That’s close to the 1.5-degree upper limit advocated by scientists to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres announced the findings of the annual State of the Global Climate report.
Secretary-General António Guterres: “We are seeing, indeed, that we live in a triple crisis: a climate crisis, a biodiversity crisis and a pollution crisis. And if we don’t act immediately, we are, as I said, on the verge of the abyss. There is no time to lose.”
The WMO says record heat has accumulated in the world’s oceans, which are becoming more acidic and less oxygenated. 2020 saw sea level rise from melting glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, near-record-low sea ice in the Arctic, severe flooding in Asia and Africa, extreme drought in South America and a record 30 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season.