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.

0
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

Deep Sea Life Under Threat as Global Warming Reaches Ocean Depths: Research

Animals living in the deep ocean are more exposed to climate warming and will face increasing challenges

0
Global warming
Global warming is seriously affecting deep sea life. Pixabay

Even though the deeper layers of the ocean are warming at a slower pace than the surface, animals living in the deep ocean are more exposed to climate warming and will face increasing challenges to maintain their preferred thermal habitats in the future, warn researchers. The study led by the University of Queensland in Australia and published in the Nature Climate Change, looked at how ocean life was responding to climate change.

“We used a metric known as climate velocity which defines the likely speed and direction a species shifts as the ocean warms,” said study researcher Isaac Brito-Morales. The international team of researchers calculated the climate velocity throughout the ocean for the past 50 years and then for the rest of this century using data from 11 climate models. “This allowed us to compare climate velocity in four ocean depth zones – assessing in which zones biodiversity could shift their distribution the most in response to climate change,” Brito-Morales said.

The researchers found climate velocity is currently twice as fast at the surface because of greater surface warming, and as a result, deeper-living species are less likely to be at risk from climate change than those at the surface. “However by the end of the century, assuming we have a high-emissions future, there is not only much greater surface warming but also this warmth will penetrate deeper,” Brito-Morales said.

Global warming
Researchers believe that action must be taken to aggressively manage carbon emissions and global warming. Pixabay

In waters between a depth of 200 and 1000 metres, The research showed climate velocities accelerated to 11 times the present rate.”And in an interesting twist, not only is climate velocity moving at different speeds at different depths in the ocean, but also in different directions which poses huge challenges to the ways we design protected areas,” Brito-Morales added. The research team believed action must be taken to aggressively manage carbon emissions.

“Significantly reducing carbon emissions is vital to control warming and to help take control of climate velocities in the surface layers of the ocean by 2100,” said study researcher Anthony Richardson. “But because of the immense size and depth of the ocean, warming already absorbed at the ocean surface will mix into deeper waters,” he added.

Also Read: Here’s How Yoga Can Help Fight Menstrual Problems

This means that marine life in the deep ocean will face escalating threats from ocean warming until the end of the century, no matter what we do now. “This leaves only one option – act urgently to alleviate other human-generated threats to deep-sea life, including seabed mining and deep-sea bottom fishing,” the authors wrote. (IANS)

Next Story

36% Consumers Would Like Devices to Offer Guidance on Environment: Report

36% consumers want guidance on environment from devices

0
consumers
36% consumers would prefer being guided on environment by devices. Pixabay

While nearly half of consumers worldwide see technological innovation as critical to tackling future environmental challenges, about 36 per cent would like their devices to offer guidance on leading a more environmentally conscious life, an Ericsson report said on Wednesday.

Interestingly, consumers who think technology will be crucial in solving future environmental challenges express almost twice the interest in various ICT solutions to help them live more environmentally consciously, compared to others, said the report “Consumers, sustainability and ICT”.

“ICT tools and services can play a significant part in assisting consumer’s daily efforts to reduce their personal environmental impact,” Zeynep Ahmet Vidal, Senior Researcher at Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab and author of the report, said in a statement.

Consumers
Consumers who think technology will be crucial in solving future environmental challenges express almost twice the interest in various ICT solutions. Pixabay

The consumers do perceive ICT as helpful as an aid in their daily life, be it for environmental, health, cost or convenience-related reasons.

“But ICT also has the potential to enable future innovation in climate action, and here the service providers have a unique opportunity and position to provide novel solutions that can aid consumers in making more sustainable choices in daily life,” Vidal said.

The findings of Ericsson’s latest ConsumerLab report is based on a quantitative study of 12,000 Internet users from across the world.

The countries involved in the study include India, the US, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Spain, Russia, South Africa, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, China and Australia. The sample consists of 1,000 respondents from each country.

The report uncovers the current consumer mindset of leading environmentally sustainable lifestyles.

In the last two decades alone, concern about air and water pollution has risen from concerning one in five consumers, to almost one in two, the research showed.

While consideration for climate change and global warming has also risen from 13 per cent of consumers to 50 per cent.

mountains-consumers
Global warming has also risen from 13 per cent of consumers to 50 per cent. Pixabay

Also Read: Bullying a Common Factor Leading to LGBTQ Youth Suicides: Researchers

The study also includes consumers’ thoughts on where ultimate responsibility lies in mitigating environmental impact.

Globally, 8 in 10 consumers consider governments as being responsible for environmental protection.

While approximately 70 per cent consider that citizens should also be responsible, 5 in 10 expect companies and brands to uphold their share of the responsibility, said the report. (IANS)

Next Story

Cybercrime on Rise During Pandemic, Warns UN

There has been a 600 percent increase in malicious emails during the ongoing pandemic

0
Pandemic
A Toyota Hybrid during a test for hackers at the Cybersecurity Conference in Lille, northern France, Jan. 29, 2020. VOA

The U.N. disarmament chief said the COVID-19 pandemic is moving the world toward increased technological innovation and online collaboration but warned that “cybercrime is also on the rise, with a 600 percent increase in malicious emails during the current crisis.”, as suggested by Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news.

Izumi Nakamitsu told an informal meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday that “there have also been worrying reports of attacks against health care organizations and medical research facilities worldwide.”

She said growing digital dependency has increased the vulnerability to cyberattacks, and “it is estimated that one such attack takes place every 39 seconds.”

According to the International Telecommunication Union, “nearly 90 countries are still only at the early stages of making commitments to cybersecurity,” Nakamitsu said.

PAndemic
Nearly 90 countries are still only at the early stages of making commitments to cybersecurity. Pixabay

The high representative for disarmament affairs said the threat from misusing information and communications technology “is urgent.” But she said there is also good news, pointing to some global progress at the United Nations to address the threats as a result of the development of norms for the use of such technology.

Also Read: New York Times Devotes Entire Front Page to COVID-19 Victims

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas, whose country holds the Security Council presidency and organized Friday’s meeting on cyber stability and advancing responsible government behavior in cyberspace, said “the COVID-19 crisis has put extra pressure on our critical services in terms of cybersecurity.”

He said the need for “a secure and functioning cyberspace” is therefore more pressing than ever, and he condemned cyberattacks targeting hospitals, medical research facilities and other infrastructure, especially during the pandemic.

“Those attacks are unacceptable,” Ratas said. “It will be important to hold the offenders responsible for their behavior.” VOA