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Climate change: The world entered ‘uncharted territory’ in 2017

Extreme weather and climate conditions are expected to continue in 2017.

Villagers in drought-hit Shahpur village in Thane district scramble around a well women are struggling to fetch some water. (Express Photos/Deepak Joshi/File)

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Wednesday confirmed that 2016 was the hottest year on record. In a press release, it said temperatures last year soared 1.1 degree Celcius above the pre-industrial period and breached 2015’s record by 0.06 degrees Celsius. The increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which reached new highs of 400 parts per million in the atmosphere, and the 2015-16 El Niño phenomenon played a big role in 2016’s climate.

Other indicators in 2016 included sea surface temperatures, which were the warmest on record, “unabated” sea level rise and “exceptionally” low sea-ice during most of the year, the report stated. “This increase in global temperature is consistent with other changes occurring in the climate system,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “With levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere consistently breaking new records, the influence of human activities on the climate system has become more and more evident.”Extreme weather and climate conditions are expected to continue this year. (Source: WMO)

Last year recorded severe droughts in southern and eastern Africa and Central America, hurricane Matthew in Haiti and heavy rains and floods in eastern and southern Asia, affecting millions of people. According to the report, extreme weather and climate conditions are expected to continue this year.

Describing 2017 as “uncharted territory”, World Climate Research Programme Director David Carlson says, “Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system.”

The WMO report has been released a day before World Meteorological Day on March 23, when a high-level event on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda will take place in New York, hosted by UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson.

Source: India Express