GENEVA - The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported the first six months of this year have seen all previous global warming records broken.The WMO said 2016 is on track to be the world’s hottest year on record with more heat on the way.
Record heat, land and water
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the dramatic, sweeping changes in the state of the world climate is alarming. June was the 14th month in a row of record heat for land and oceans. It also marked the 378th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average.
David Carlson, director of the WMO’s World Climate Research Program, told VOA global warming is happening faster than predicted.
“This year suggests that the planet can warm up faster than we expected on a much shorter time. We would have thought that it would take several years to see a jump like this,” he said.
Scientists based their assessment of the rapidly changing climate on three main indicators.The first is the record-setting global temperatures, which, for the first six months of this year, averaged 1.3 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial era levels.
They noted the heat has been especially high in the Arctic, resulting in the early and fast melting of the Arctic sea ice, territories in the far Northern Hemisphere, including Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia, are setting heat records, and carbon dioxide emissions, which are driving global warming, have reached new highs.
Emissions, greenhouse gases
The strong 2015-2016 El Nino event, which causes unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, is only partially responsible for this accelerated warming trend Carlson said, however, much remains unknown.
“If we got this much surprise this year, how many more surprises are ahead of us? The system cannot so far as we know — I mean, ice takes a certain amount of time to melt, the ocean takes a certain amount of time to heat up — it cannot go ballistic the way the movies have it, but this is a serious surprise even from a conservative climate point of view,” he stated.
Carlson warned the world is running out of time to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases leading to global warming. He said nations that have signed up to the Paris Climate Change agreement last year must take more aggressive action.