- The concentrations of greenhouse gases are at the highest levels in 3 million years.
- The report confirmed that 2019 was the second hottest year on record.
- "We are currently out of the way of meeting the 1.5 ° C or 2 ° C targets that the Paris Agreement requires."
"It is important that all the attention that needs to be given to combat this disease does not distract us from the need to defeat climate change," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, according to the agency. Agence France Presse.
Although emissions have been reduced due to the virus, Guterres noted that "we will not fight climate change with a virus. Although the disease is expected to be temporary, climate change has been a phenomenon for many years and will remain with us for more than a year" . decades and require constant action.
"We count the cost in human lives and livelihoods, as droughts, fires, floods and extreme storms take their toll," said Guterres.
The report confirmed that 2019 was the second warmest year on record and the past decade the warmest in human history.
2019 ended with an average global temperature of 1.1 degrees Celsius above estimated pre-industrial levels, second only to the record set in 2016, when a very strong El Niño event contributed to an increase in global temperature at the top of the general warming trend.
"At the moment, we are out of the way of meeting the 1.5 ° C or 2 ° C targets required by the Paris Agreement," wrote Guterres in the report.
"The concentrations of greenhouse gases are at the highest levels in 3 million years – when the Earth's temperature was 3 degrees warmer and the sea level 15 meters higher," Guterres said at a news conference with the Secretary-General General of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas. at the UN headquarters in New York.
The main greenhouse gases that cause global warming are carbon dioxide and methane, emitted by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.
“As greenhouse gas levels continue to rise, warming will continue. A recent decadal forecast indicates that a new annual annual temperature record is likely in the next five years. It is a matter of time, ”said Taalas.
“We had the warmest January on record. Winter was off-season in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Smoke and pollutants caused by fires in Australia have circumnavigated the world, causing an increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
Record temperatures in Antarctica were accompanied by large-scale melting of ice and the fracture of a glacier that will have an impact on rising sea levels, Taalas added.
Professor Brian Hoskins of Imperial College London told the Guardian that "the report is a catalog of weather conditions in 2019 made more extreme by climate change and the human misery that accompanied it.
"This points to a greater threat to our species than any known virus – we must not deviate from the urgency to fight it, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to zero as soon as possible."