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sabato, Luglio 13, 2024

Hottest July ever signals ‘era of global boiling has arrived’ says UN chief

GENEVA/NEW YORK, JULY 27 – As wildfires raged across Southern Europe and North Africa, top UN climate scientists said on Thursday that it was “virtually certain” that July 2023 will be the warmest on record. In Geneva, scientists from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the European Commission’s Copernicus Climate Change Service described conditions this month as “rather remarkable and unprecedented”.

They said that new data showed that so far, July has seen the hottest three-week period ever recorded and the three hottest days on record. “We can say that the first three weeks of July have been the warmest three weeks periods ever observed in our record,” said Carlo Buentempo, Director of Copernicus Climate Change Service, via Zoom. Echoing that warning in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that “short of a mini-Ice Age” in coming days, July 2023 would likely “shatter records across the board”. Speaking at UN Headquarters, the SG underscored the need for global action on emissions, climate adaptation and climate finance. He warned that “the era of global warming has ended” and “the era of global boiling has arrived.”

Climate change is here: “It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning,” said the UN chief, warning that the consequences are as clear as they are tragic: “children swept away by monsoon rains, families running from the flames (and) workers collapsing in scorching heat.”

Just as worrying was the fact that ocean temperatures are at their highest-ever recorded levels for this time of year. This trend has been apparent since the end of April. Citing “a clear and dramatic warming decade on decade” since the 1970s, WMO’s Director of Climate Services Chris Hewitt noted that 2015 to 2022 saw the eight warmest years on record, based on a 173-year dataset.

This was despite the fact that the La Niña sea-cooling phenomenon prevailed towards the end of that period in the Pacific region, which reined in global average temperatures slightly, Mr. Hewitt explained.

“But now the La Niña has ended” – to be replaced by the sea-warming El Niño effect – waters have begun to heat up in the tropical Pacific, bringing the “almost certain likelihood that one of the next five years will be the warmest on record”.

It is also “more likely than not” that global average temperatures will temporarily exceed the 1.5°C threshold above pre-industrial levels “for at least one of the five years”, the WMO scientist continued.

Guterres called upon world leaders to step up for climate action and climate justice, particularly those from the G20 leading industrial nations, responsible for 80 per cent of global emissions. He pointed to upcoming summits – including the UN Climate Ambition Summit in September and the COP28 climate conference in Dubai in November – as critical opportunities. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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