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“Heatwave Hits: Climate Change Alarmingly Soars, WMO Reports Last Decade

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently reported that the past decade (2010-2019) was the hottest on record, confirming that the earth’s temperatures continue to rise as a result of human-induced climate change. The WMO’s statement came in a report, published on December 3rd, which revealed that 2019 had been the second-highest year of global heat on record. This announcement was made in conjunction with the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Madrid, which has been exploring solutions to the issue. The main culprit for the global rise in temperatures is the growing emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, mainly from human activity such as burning coal and oil. According to the report, the past five years have been the warmest on record, and each of the last four decades were successively warmer than the preceding decade. The report also stressed that the effects of climate change are particularly felt in the Arctic, which has seen exceptionally rapid warming in recent years. This region is now two to three times warmer than the global average warming rate, leading to sea ice melt, an increased prevalence of wildfires, and the displacement of many animal species. To combat climate change, the WMO is taking steps to increase awareness on the matter. The WMO launched a one-minute video on World Meteorological Day this past March to spread the message that “The Climate is Changing,” as well as a public service announcement with a blue whale to emphasize the impacts of global warming on the oceans. Looking towards the future, the WMO report emphasizes the need to reduce emissions to attain the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report states that this will require “transformation of the global energy system over the next few decades, as well as enhancing the ability of communities to cope with the inevitable impacts of climate change.” The WMO’s report serves as a reminder that time for action is running out, and that every individual must be conscious of their personal impacts on the environment and make changes to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted. Climate change is a global issue that can only be solved with a unified approach.