Earth's warming weather and rising seas are getting worse and doing so faster than before, the World Meteorological Organisation warned as world leaders started gathering in Egypt for international climate negotiations at Cop27.
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"The latest State of the Global Climate report is a chronicle of climate chaos," United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. "We must answer the planet's distress signal with action - ambitious, credible climate action."
In its annual state of the climate report, the United Nations' weather agency said that sea level rise in the past decade was double what it was in the 1990s and since January 2020 has jumped at an even higher rate.
The past eight years have been the warmest on record, the WMO said.
"The melting (of ice) game we have lost and also the sea level rate," WMO chief Petteri Taalas said. "There are no positive indicators so far."
The only reason the globe had not broken annual temperature records in the past few years was a rare three-year La Nina weather phenomenon, he said.
The data on sea level and average temperatures are nothing compared to how climate change has hit people in extreme weather.
The report highlights the summer's flood in Pakistan that killed more than 1,700 people and displaced 7.9 million, a crippling four-year drought in East Africa that has more than 18 million hungry, the Yangtze River drying to its lowest level in August, and record heat-waves broiling people in Europe and China.
Levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide all reached record high levels, with potent methane increasing at a record pace, the report said.
Ice, both Greenland's ice sheet and the world's glaciers, are shrinking precipitously, the report said. For the 26th year in a row, Greenland lost ice when all types of ice are included.
The volume of glacier snow in Switzerland dropped by more than one-third from 2001 to 2022, the report said.
But 90% of the heat trapped on Earth goes into the ocean and the upper part of the ocean is getting warmer faster. The rate of warming the last 15 years is 67% faster than since 1971, the report said.
That ocean heat "will continue to warm in the future - a change which is irreversible on centennial to millennial time scales," the report said.
It comes as the Taoiseach is leading an Irish delegation at the Cop27 climate change conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt this week.
Micheál Martin will be representing Ireland at the World Leaders Summit, where he will deliver Ireland’s National Statement, setting out Ireland’s climate ambition.
He will also have a number of bilateral meetings with fellow world leaders.
Cop27 brings together almost every country in the world to try to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change, with US President Joe Biden to arrive later in the week.
However, some key world leaders are missing the event, including China's President Xi Jinping and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This year, the annual conference will focus on climate-related challenges facing many African countries and on the implementation of commitments made at previous COPs.
Delegates will seek to make progress on addressing the loss and damage caused by climate change, and on increasing funding for climate resilience.
Speaking ahead of the summit, Mr Martin said: “Climate change is the single greatest challenge the world faces. Its effects are already being felt in more extreme weather events, and its consequences are fuelling conflict, global instability, competition for resources and abject human misery in some of the world’s poorest countries.
“Political leaders meeting at Cop27 have a special responsibility to urgently drive the transformation needed to secure the sustainable future of our planet and its people.
Early next week, Mr Martin will be joined by Environment Minister Eamon Ryan and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.
Mr Ryan, will lead Ireland’s national delegation during the second week of the conference.
According to Mr Ryan, the damaging signs of climate change are "clear to all."
He said: "The devastating effects of climate change are clear to all, with extreme weather events becoming ever more frequent across the world. We know we must act now to protect people and the planet, and it is vital that we act together.
“We have to move as hard and as fast as possible to reduce our emissions. Every kg of emissions saved matters at this stage. Cop27 is an opportunity to work together to keep commitments already made on track and to make further progress on net zero ambitions.
“Ireland is committed to reducing our emissions by 51% by 2030 and to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, as set out in the Climate Action Plan 2021. This year’s successor to that plan which we will publish in December, will emphasise the need to speed up measures to decarbonise our economy and move towards renewables. The scale of change we need to make is beyond compare but I am optimistic that we can do it and that we will play our part in ensuring that we have a greener, healthier, more prosperous globe to pass on to our children and their children.”
Cop27 is taking place from November 6-18, 2022.
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