As is our custom, when the blog comes across an article worth reading, it will recommend it and quote from it. This is written by Farooque Chowdhury, from Dhaka, Bangladesh and published on the Countercurrents website
The World Meteorological Organization released a report 'State of the Global Climate 2020' on April 19, 2021, which has warned: Time is fast running out.
In 2019, according to the UN report, GHG concentrations reached new highs:
- Carbon dioxide: 410.5±0.2 ppm = 148% of preindustrial levels
- Methane: 1877±2 ppb = 260% of preindustrial levels
- Nitrous oxide: 332.0±0.1 ppb = 123% of pre-industrial levels.
The report said: In 2020, global mean surface temperature (GMST), measured using a combination of air temperature two meters over land, and sea surface temperature in ocean areas from various databases, was 1.2 ± 0.1 °C warmer than the pre-industrial baseline (1850-1900), Despite developing La Niña cooling conditions, 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, and the last decade, 2011-2020, was the warmest on record.
The report said:
- “Since the mid-1980s, Arctic surface air temperatures have warmed at least twice as fast as the global average, while sea ice, the Greenland ice sheet and glaciers have declined over the same period and permafrost temperatures have increased.
- “This has potentially large implications not only for Arctic population, infrastructure and ecosystems, but also for the global climate through various feedbacks.”
- “Around the world”, the report said, “[r]ising global temperatures have contributed to more frequent and severe extreme weather events […].”
As example of extreme weather incidents, the report mentioned extreme precipitation in 2020, and said:
“Regions with unusually high precipitation amounts […] included East and North-East Africa, South and East Asia, south-eastern North America and the Caribbean and North-East Europe.
“Unusually low precipitation amounts were observed in Southern and North-West Africa, South America, North-East and West Asia, south-western and north-eastern North America and northern New Zealand.”
Oceans are “the destination” of around 90% of the excess energy that accumulates in the earth system due to increasing concentrations of the GHG. Ocean Heat Content (OHC), a measure of this heat accumulation in the Earth system, is measured at various ocean depths, up to 2000m deep. Ocean warming rates, according to the report, “show a particularly strong increase in the past two decades across all depths.”
The report said:
- “In 2019, the 0–2000m depth layer of the global ocean reached a new record high, and a preliminary analysis based on three global data sets suggests that 2020 exceeded that record.”
- “In 2020, more than 80% of the ocean experienced at least one MHW, causing significant impacts to marine life and the communities that depend on it.”
- “Globally, sea level has been rising an average of 3.29 (+/- 0.3) mm per year, peaking in 2020. A small decrease in the latter part of 2020 is likely related to La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific.”
On glacial loss, the report said:
- “[G]laciers continued to lose mass in the hydrological year 2019/2020.”
- “Although, mass balance was slightly less negative, with an estimated ice loss of 0.98 meter water equivalent, there is a clear trend towards accelerating glacier mass loss in the long term.”
- “Eight out of the ten most negative mass balance years have been recorded since 2010.”
On sea ice, a useful indicator of climate change particularly given the speed of change occurs at the poles and the extent of the repercussions of its cover, the report said:
- “Antarctic sea ice remained close to the long-term average”.
- “In the Arctic, the annual minimum sea-ice extent was the second lowest on record and record low sea-ice extents were observed in the months of July and October 2020.”
- “Oceans absorb around 23% of the annual emissions of anthropogenic CO2 to the atmosphere, helping to alleviate the impacts of climate change but at a high ecological cost to the ocean.”
It said: “Global mean ocean pH has been steadily declining”.
The report said that increasing global warming are risking achieving of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Displacement of people
- “Over the past decade (2010–2019), weather-related events triggered an estimated 23.1 million displacements of people on average each year.”
- “Approximately 9.8 million displacements, largely due to hydrometeorological hazards and disasters, were recorded during the first half of 2020, mainly concentrated in South and South-East Asia and the Horn of Africa.”
- “Events in the second half of the year, including displacements linked to flooding across the Sahel region, the active Atlantic hurricane season and typhoon impacts in South-East Asia, are expected to bring the total for 2020 close to the average for the decade.”
Food insecurity, the report said, grows out of climate variability and extreme weather incidents, along with economic slowdown and conflicts. It said:
- “In 2020, over 50 million people were doubly hit – by climate-related disasters (floods, droughts and storms) and by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- “Nearly 690 million people, or 9% of the world population, were undernourished, and about 750 million, or nearly 10%, were exposed to severe levels of food insecurity in 2019.”
The UN report warned: “Overall in 2020, the world remained on course to exceed the agreed temperature thresholds of either 1.5 °C or 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, which will increase the risk of experiencing the pervasive effects of climate change beyond what is already seen. Thus while reducing greenhouse gas emissions remains essential, scaling up adaptation is an urgent need.” The report has suggested massive effort from the governments of the world.
The report is a burning example of the world capitalist order – everything for profit, demolish and destroy for profit, nothing to consider, but profit...
Is there some sort of capitalism, which is non-catastrophic? And was there any phase of the system, when it was not acting catastrophic? Never and never was it...
...the source of the crisis – capitalist system – isn’t the problem. To the part, climate crisis is a commodity connecting many, as other commodities connect. It’ll try its best to reap a higher profit from the emerging market. It’s aware of this emerging market. To reap profit, it’ll keep the profit-making system intact. So, the source of the crisis will continue hurting people as it hurts today, as it hurt yesterday, because, profit can’t be made without exploiting labor and nature.
Full text can be read at:
Climate crisis: Time is fast running out, and World Bank changes tone | Countercurrents
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