With the concentration of major greenhouse gasses continuing to relentlessly rise throughout the world, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) stated that the world is spiralling off course in terms of hitting its climate change targets.
Greenhouse gasses continued to rise last year and during the first half of this year, resulting in concerning levels of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, putting the planet at risk of dangerous future warming.
According to the United in Science 2021 report, climate change and its impacts are accelerating.
It stated that the average global temperature over the past five years was among the highest on record, with estimates at 1.06C to 1.26C above pre-industrial levels.
The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change had called for capping global warming at levels that were well below 2C and closer to 1.5C if possible.
However, the report states that the cap may be exceeded as temperatures may breach the 1.5C within the next five years.
The report adds that even with ambitious climate action, sea levels will continue to rise around the world, threatening low-lying islands and coastal populations.
Describing the situation as alarming, UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres stated, “This is a critical year for climate action,” while adding that the reports are an alarming reminder of how far off course we have gone.
“This year has seen fossil fuel emissions bounce back, greenhouse gas concentrations continuing to rise and severe human-enhanced weather events that have affected health, lives and livelihoods on every continent,”.
He added that unless immediate and large-scale action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5C will be an impossible task, resulting in catastrophic consequences.