Sunday June 16, 2019

Global Greenhouse Gas Level Continues To Rise, Need For a New Political and Investment Paradigm

The WMO is honoured to support UN member states and the Security Council in the provision of top-quality information on weather, climate, water and environment-related threats to peace and security.

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Earth depletion
Earth depletion, Pixabay

Global greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise to record levels in 2018-2019, the chief economist of World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has told United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

“Global average greenhouse gas concentrations of CO2 (carbon dioxide) reached 405.5 parts per million in 2017 and continue to rise to record levels in 2018-2019,” Professor Pavel Kabat was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency on Friday.

“The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3 million to 5 million years ago, when the temperature was 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer and sea level was 10-20 meters higher than now.”

marine and ocean life
Ocean heat content is also at record levels, with far-reaching, lasting consequences for marine life,pixabay

 

The past four years have been the warmest on record, with many high-impact weather events which bear the hallmarks of climate change. The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years. The global average temperature is nearly 1 degree Celcius above the pre-industrial era, said Kabat in the WMO’s first ever briefing to the Security Council.

He noted that the World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland, has put extreme weather, natural disasters, climate change and water crises as the top four existential threats in its Global Risks Report 2019.

These show significant interconnections with other shocks and impacts to peace and security and sustainable development, he said.

Research by the WMO and its partners and network of scientists shows that sea level rise is accelerating, as is the melting of polar ice sheets, posing an increasing existential threat to small island developing countries, said Kabat.

Climate change, carbon
The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory stands in Sebastiao do Uatuma located in the Amazon rain forest in Brazil’s Amazonas state, Aug. 22, 2015. The tower, built by Brazilian and German governments, collects data on greenhouse gases. VOA

The shrinking of Arctic sea ice affects not just the local environment and indigenous peoples, but also influences weather patterns in the world’s populated regions. Glacier melt continues unchecked, with short-term impacts including increased flooding and a long-term threat to water supplies for many millions of people.

Ocean heat content is also at record levels, with far-reaching, lasting consequences for marine life, coral reefs and food security, he said.

earth, digital
Environmental threats like climate change and pollution are linked to lethargic enforcement of laws governing management of vital ecosystems, says a report released on Thursday by UN Environment.

Climate change has a multitude of security impacts, rolling back the gains in nutrition and access to food, heightening the risk of wildfires and exacerbating air quality challenges, increasing the potential for water conflict, leading to more internal displacement and migration, warned Kabat.

“It is increasingly regarded as a national security threat.”

He expressed the hope for closer collaboration and for the establishment of mechanisms for future briefings to the Security Council “to provide authoritative information for decision-making and support the diplomatic business of the council in areas appropriate to the understanding and analysis of peace and security threats.”

Also Read: Vitamin A Deficiency In Children Reduces Immunity, WHO On Malnutrition

The WMO is honoured to support UN member states and the Security Council in the provision of top-quality information on weather, climate, water and environment-related threats to peace and security, he said.

Kabat said there is a need for a new political and investment paradigm to build a new generation of hydro-climate forecasting and early-warning services.

“This should become a component of basic country-infrastructure, like roads and bridges,” he said. (IANS)

Next Story

UN Warns Millions in South Sudan to Face Acute Shortage of Food in Coming Weeks

The United Nations estimates nearly 7 million South Sudanese, or 61 percent of the population, will face acute levels of food insecurity in about six weeks' time

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south sudan, acute hunger
A refugee from South Sudan transports food she received from the World Food Program (WFP) in Palorinya settlement camp for distribution, in Moyo district northern Uganda, Oct. 26, 2017. VOA

U.N. agencies warn millions of people in South Sudan will face acute shortages of food by the end of July, with tens of thousands experiencing famine-like conditions. A new report released Friday by the U.N.’s World Food Program, Food and Agriculture Organization and UNICEF, along with the government of South Sudan, assesses the food situation in the world’s youngest country.

Food is always in short supply during South Sudan’s lean season. But, this year, the situation is worse than usual because of a much-delayed rainfall on top of an economic crisis and population displacement due to conflict.

south sudan, hunger
The agency currently is providing food for 2.77 million people. Pixabay

The United Nations estimates nearly 7 million South Sudanese, or 61 percent of the population, will face acute levels of food insecurity in about six weeks’ time.

World Food Program spokesman Herve Verhoosel tells VOA the crisis will be especially dire for thousands of people living in inaccessible parts of former Jonglei, Lakes, and Upper Nile states.

“Twenty-one thousand people in the country are in a very catastrophic situation.  They need very urgently access to that food,” said Verhoosel. “We know that urgent food assistance is needed in most of the country, especially because of the conflict and because of the season. And, that is at the end of July that we will have a very difficult time and most of the people will need that food assistance.”

hunger, south sudan
The United Nations estimates nearly 7 million South Sudanese, or 61 percent of the population, will face acute levels of food insecurity in about six weeks’ time. Pixabay

Verhoosel says people living in the worst-affected areas are experiencing famine-like conditions, with little or nothing to eat or to feed their families.  The agency currently is providing food for 2.77 million people. Verhoosel says the WFP plans to scale up aid to reach more than 5 million by the end of the year.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe Faces Shortage of Antiretroviral Drugs

The U.N. children’s fund and partners say they too will scale up services to reach more children affected by severe acute malnutrition with therapeutic feeding.

The Food and Agriculture Organization reports it is providing new varieties of seed suited to local conditions.  It says it also is training farmers in techniques that will reduce losses from drought and flooding. (VOA)