The World Meteorological Organisation has warned that the first six months of 2016 have seen several climate records broken:
“Arctic sea ice melted early and fast, another indicator of climate change. Carbon dioxide levels, which are driving global warming, have reached new highs.”
Carbon dioxide concentrations have now passed the symbolic upper limit of 400ppm; reaching 407ppm in the first half of the year. And although last year’s El Nino event has subsided, its impact will continue according to World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas:
“The El Niño event, which turned up the Earth’s thermostat, has now disappeared. Climate change, caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases, will not. This means we face more heatwaves, more extreme rainfall and potential for higher impact tropical cyclones.”
The warning from the WMO is in line with others this year that suggest it is now highly unlikely that we can prevent global temperatures rising beyond the 2°C upper limit agreed in Paris last year. We look to be on course for temperatures in excess of 3°C and possibly as high as 5°C – temperatures far above those needed to sustain our current way of life.