The decade of 2010 will go down in history as the warmest in recorded world history, at least for the next ten years.
It shouldn’t surprise us Australians, having spent 2019 suffocating by a heat exceeding 1.5 degrees above average in the warmest and driest year in history, which was also the second warmest in the world.
It was a suitable way for us to finish the decade, which previously presented our hottest and driest year record that broke in 2013.
Each year that followed since then is among the 10 best and driest in our country.
The only year before 2005 in the top 10 was in 1998, according to the latest annual climate statement from the Meteorology Office.
The story is basically the same throughout the world.
The recently published analyzes by NASA of the United States and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) compared data from five different sources to map the global warming and drying climate simultaneously.
Despite slight and expected variations in real gross numbers, all sets show the same peaks and valleys.
All show rapid warming in recent decades.
They also show that the last decade was the warmest.
“The decade that has just ended is clearly the warmest recorded,” said the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Gavin Schmidt. “Every decade since the 1960s has clearly been warmer than the last.”
The GISS is affiliated with the Columbia University Earth Institute and is located on its campus in New York City, where it studies changes in the environment on a global scale.
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But of course, we really don’t need scientists to tell us that temperatures are rising and that the world is drying up.
We know that it has been hot and dry, we experience the weather on a daily basis, since the heat registers a fall and the drought forges cracks in the ground in all the cities, suburbs and regions in which we live.
It is worrying that places where the world is warming faster are much less visible to the average person and could have an even more serious impact on the world in general.
The virtually unpopulated Arctic region has been warming at a rate three times faster than the rest of the world since 1970.
Greenland and Antarctica continue to melt, as ice enters the ocean and causes sea levels to rise.
The state of Alaska, sparsely populated in the USA. In the US, it had its warmest year recorded, with an average temperature of 2019 more than 3 C higher than the average from 1925 to 2000.
While the weather has already gone through several “tipping points”, as repeated calls from scientists about a changing global climate are practically not taken into account for almost five consecutive decades, as the expected impacts are felt each time more, there are signs that things are beginning to change as more people and, crucially, industries care.
THE COST OF NOT DOING ANYTHING
The recent Global Risk Report of the World Economic Forum for 2020, which surveys around 800 members of the Forum on the factors they believe pose economic risks for next year, revealed the environmental problems that are most likely to present global risks for economy.
Extreme weather, the failure of climate action and natural disasters were the three most likely, echoing last year’s survey.
But biodiversity and man-made environmental disasters overcame fraud or data theft, and cyber attacks as the most likely risks to complete the first five.
The failure of climate action was the number one risk in terms of the impact it would have on the world economy, returning to the first position it held in 2016 after being replaced by weapons of mass destruction in the last three years (which would obviously have a devastating effect). impact, but it has not been considered a high probability in this or in the previous 12 annual reports).
According to the president of the World Economic Forum, Børge Brende, it was the first time that the environment, or indeed, any category of problems dominated the five main concerns.
It was also the first time that the Forum included results of its Global Shapers Community, composed of “young people who promote dialogue, action and change”.
The “Shapers” were more concerned with environmental factors (and in fact the majority of others) than the multiple stakeholders, suggesting that young people are more concerned with the current and imminent impacts of climate change than older generations than not. They grew up listening to them and will not be alive to deal with them.
“We note with grave concern the consequences of continued environmental degradation, including the record rate of decline in species,” Brende said in his preface to the report. “Respondents of our Global Risk Perception Survey are also sounding the alarm … but despite the need to be more ambitious in regards to climate action, the UN warned that countries have deviated when they it tries to fulfill its commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change, ”he said, without mentioning Australia directly.
The argument presented at a recent UN conference by our Minister of Energy and Emission Reduction, Angus Taylor, was like a lead balloon among other nations.
He wants Australia to use “transferable credits” for exceeding the above objectives to “fulfill and overcome” its Paris commitments, as part of the “strong, credible and responsible commitment” that the Department of Environment and Energy claims to our government. table.
Transferred credits, if Australia is allowed to use them, would reduce our need to reduce emissions by more than half.
Taylor has a long history of opposing renewable energy, rather than pressing for the reduction of emissions through “other means,” such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
LNG produces about 40% less emissions than coal, unlike renewable energy, which produces about 100% less.
Taylor also has a poor track record when it comes to accurately representing numbers, and is currently being investigated by the Australian Federal Police for using a false document with false figures to criticize the Sydney City Council for daring to ask the Minister of Energy and Emission reduction does something to reduce emissions.
He later apologized to Sydney Mayor Clover Moore a week after trying to rule out the scandal as a “conspiracy theory.”
Australia is responsible for about 1.3 percent of global emissions, which makes us one of the highest per capita issuers.
That is before taking into account the emissions resulting from the manufacture of products in other countries and imported into Australia, or from fossil fuels extracted from our land and sent abroad by fossil fuel companies.
According to a 2017 study, some of those corporations are among the 100 responsible for more than 70 percent of global emissions since 1988.
That study quantifies the final emissions of the products and services that these corporations sell and not just the emissions from fossil fuel production in the first place.
Those reluctant to do anything to combat a changing climate, such as the gradual decarbonization of the industry and the increase in renewable energy, often cite the cost of doing so, even when renewable energy becomes significantly cheaper.
But according to the NOAA data for the USA. In the US, the cost of dealing with natural disasters, which are exacerbated if they are not directly caused by climate change, has increased along with the temperature, and the previous decade was also the most expensive.