| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

UN Chief Antonio Guterres sounds alarm in Dubai, says 2023 set to be hottest year in human history

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking in Dubai prior to the UN climate conference, has issued a grave alert, stating that 2023 is poised to be the hottest year ever documented. He highlighted concerning signs including record-breaking sea levels, unparalleled sea surface temperatures, and a historic decrease in Antarctic sea ice.
“We’re in deep trouble,” Guterres said while urging the nations for global action on the climate change crisis. “The State of the Global Climate in 2023 is stark and clear. Things are moving so fast that the full month before the end of the year, we can already declare that 2023 is the hottest year recorded in human history,” he reportedly said.
While the official data for the entire year is not yet available, a preliminary report from the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) indicated a global temperature increase of 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Guterres stressed the critical importance of adhering to the 1.5-degree limit established in the 2015 Paris Agreement, calling the current situation a “climate collapse in real time” with devastating impacts.
The UN chief, who recently visited climate hotspots in Antarctica and Nepal, expressed shock at the rapid decline of glaciers and observed a one-million-square-kilometer reduction in Antarctic sea ice compared to the previous record low.

The WMO report also highlighted extreme melting in glaciers in western North America and the European Alps.

The concentration of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide reached record highs in the atmosphere, with carbon dioxide levels now 50 percent above pre-industrial levels.

WMO reports also suggested the long-lasting impact of carbon dioxide, indicating that temperatures will continue to rise for years to come.
The report underscored the consequences of climate upheaval, citing instances like the deadly Cyclone Daniel in Libya and devastating floods in the Horn of Africa. It also drew attention on the communities worldwide facing food insecurity and displacement due to extreme weather events.

‘Global heat should send shivers down the spines of world leaders’
Guterres urged world leaders to take decisive action. “Record global heat should send shivers down the spines of world leaders,” he earlier said and added, “And it should trigger them to act”.

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