2017 warmest year on record- World Meteorological Organisation

The World Meteorological Organisation-WMO on Monday released data indicating that so far, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose by a record rate last year.

The annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin released at the sidelines of the United Nations climate change summit (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, showed carbon dioxide at an average level of 403.3 parts per million. Such levels, according to WMO, are comparable to conditions recorded 3 to 5 million years ago.

The report says the high carbon dioxide levels contributed to global temperature levels increasing to two to three degrees warmer and sea level 10 to 20 metres higher than the present. The report suggests this year will be the second or third warmest in a record stretching back to 1850.

World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General, Petteri Taalas in a statement said the past three years have all been in the top three years in terms of temperature records. According to the statement, from January to September this year, the average global temperatures were approximately 1.1°C above the pre-industrial era.

He said this was part of a long-term warming trend.  "We have witnessed extraordinary weather, including temperatures topping 50C in Asia, record-breaking hurricanes in rapid succession in the Caribbean and Atlantic reaching as far as Ireland, devastating monsoon flooding affecting many millions of people and a relentless drought in East Africa," he said

Petteri Taalas said further detailed scientific studies would be carried out, but that it was already possible to say that the finding "tell-tale sign of climate change" caused by increased greenhouse gas concentrations from human activities, such as burning fossil fuel and deforestation.

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa in a statement reacting to the findings warned of the consequences of failure by the countries take action on a human-induced cause of global warming.

"There is unprecedented and very welcome momentum among governments, but also cities, states, territories, regions, business and civil society," she said.

World Meteorological Organization hopes that the latest findings will help negotiators at the Climate Change conference and countries to take fast-forwarding ambitious planet-saving efforts as per the 2015 Paris Agreement.


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