x

Science

UN Sums Up Climate Science: World Heading in Wrong Direction

September 13, 2022

GENEVA — With weather disasters costing $200 million a day and irreversible climate catastrophe looming, the world is “heading in the wrong direction,” the United Nations says in a new report that pulls together the latest science on climate change.

The World Meteorological Organization, in the latest stark warning about global warming, said weather-related disasters have increased fivefold over the last 50 years and are killing 115 per day on average – and the fallout is poised to worsen.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cited the floods in Pakistan, heat waves in Europe, droughts in places such as China, the Horn of Africa, and the United States – and pointed the finger at fossil fuels.

“There is nothing natural about the new scale of these disasters. They are the price of humanity’s fossil fuel addiction,” he said. “This year’s United in Science report shows climate impacts heading into uncharted territories of destruction.”

“Yet each year we double-down on this fossil fuel addiction, even as the symptoms get rapidly worse,” he added.

The report, drawn from data compiled by several U.N. agencies and partners, cited a 48% chance that global temperature rise compared to pre-industrial times will reach 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) in the next five years. There’s a 93% percent chance that one year in the next five will see record heat.

It comes amid fresh warnings from scientists last week that four climate “tipping points” will likely be triggered if that temperature threshold — set in the 2015 Paris climate accord — is passed.

Many governments are already trying to address the threat of more severe weather due to climate change, and data show that deaths from natural disasters are down in recent years. Yet the economic cost of climate-induced catastrophes is projected to rise sharply.

The U.N. report says such “losses and damages” can be limited by timely action to prevent further warming and adapt to the temperature increases that are now inevitable. Questions around compensation for the damage that poor nations suffer as a result of emissions produced by rich countries will play a major role at the upcoming U.N. climate talks in Egypt this fall.

 

RELATED

The Associated Press (AP) — Ilya Sutskever, one of the founders of OpenAI who was involved in a failed effort to push out CEO Sam Altman, said he's starting a safety-focused artificial intelligence company.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Alberto, Season’s First Named Tropical Storm, Dumps Rain on Texas and Mexico, Which Reports 3 Deaths

TAMPICO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto rumbled toward northeast Mexico early Thursday as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.

OXFORD, UK – The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Marios Papadopoulos, announced an all-Beethoven program at the historic Sheldonian Theatre with Guest Conductor Peter Tiboris on Friday, July 5, at 7:30 PM.

CAIRO  — More than 1,000 people died during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia as the faithful faced extreme high temperatures at Islamic holy sites in the desert kingdom, officials said Sunday.

WASHINGTON  — Vice President Kamala Harris says “everything is at stake” with reproductive health rights in November's election as the Biden campaign steps up its focus on contrasting the positions taken by Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump on the issue before their debate this week.

COLOGNE, Germany — In front of Belgium's royal family, King Kev sealed the win.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.