In its recently released ‘State of Climate’ report, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) noted that four key climate change indicators – greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, rise in sea level, ocean heat and ocean acidification, set new records in 2021.
- The last seven years (2015-21), were globally the warmest years on record, and the average global temperature last year was about 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial level (1850-1900).
- The annual average global temperature has a 50:50 chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels in at least one of the next five years.
- The year 2021 was slightly less warm due to a La Nia (cooler than normal seas in the tropical Pacific Ocean) event at the start and end of the year, but this did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures.
- The global mean sea level reached a new record high in 2021, rising an average of 4.5 mm per year over the 2013-2021 period.
- It increased at more than double the previous rate due to accelerating loss of ice mass, making people in coastal areas more vulnerable.
- Some glaciers have reached the point of no return, which will have long-term consequences in a world where more than two billion people already face water scarcity.
- The extreme weather events (like heat waves, cyclones and floods) around the world, led to loss and damages of more than $100 billion in 2021.
- For example, cyclonic events such as Tauktae and Gulab and floods in India have resulted in displacement of more than one lakh people last year.
About the ‘World Meteorological Organisation’ –
- The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is an intergovernmental organisation with a membership of 192 Member States and Territories.
- It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was established after the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress.
- Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23rd March 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.
- WMO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.