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UN Issues New Warning on Climate Change


An aerial view shows burnt houses and trees following a wildfire in the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 25, 2018.

In a new warning, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization said the world is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. It said this phenomenon is due to many factors and is not occurring at the same rate or degree around the globe.

Parts of the world are feeling the strain of record-breaking heatwaves, drought, devastating floods and raging wildfires. They are having a widespread impact on human health, agriculture, ecosystems and infrastructure.

The World Meteorological Organization reports climate change is influencing this trend in varying degrees. The chief of the WMO's World Weather Research Program, Paulo Ruti, said there is no discernible global pattern of climate change, but, its impact is increasingly visible in certain areas, such as the Arctic.

FILE - An Adelie penguin stands atop a block of melting ice near the French station at Dumont díUrville in East Antarctica.
FILE - An Adelie penguin stands atop a block of melting ice near the French station at Dumont díUrville in East Antarctica.

"We have seen wildfires in the Arctic," he said. "So, there are favoring conditions related to the fact that climate change is acting. So, you are melting the Permafrost, you have much more vegetation that is available. Sometimes you have stronger winds. So, you have several factors."

Another interesting factor, he said, is a discernible increase in storms and lightning, events which also can trigger fires in the Arctic. He said climate change in some places is happening faster than previously predicted.

"It depends on what is your target because if it is the Arctic, the answer is yes," he told VOA. "So, you see an acceleration of the melting in the recent five, six years."

WMO scientist Ruti notes this question needs to be put into context. He said what is happening in the Arctic regarding climate change would not apply to other global events, such as sand or dust storms.

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