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Climate change is out of control, UN secretary general says – The National

  • Antonio Guterres says delaying key measures will move the world into a ‘catastrophic situation’
Deforestation in Para state, Brazil. AFP
Deforestation in Para state, Brazil. AFP

Patrick Ryan, The National

DUBAI
EnergiesNet.com 07 10 2023

The UN secretary general has warned that climate change is out of control, after unofficial data analysis showed that the week leading up to Wednesday was the hottest on record globally.

The average temperature around the world was 17.18°C on Tuesday, according to figures released by the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction.

This passed the previous record, which had been set the previous day of 17.01°C.

“If we persist in delaying key measures that are needed, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation, as the last two records in temperature demonstrate,” Antonio Guterres said.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says climate-change action cannot be further delayed. AFP
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says climate-change action cannot be further delayed. AFP

The average temperature for the seven days leading up to Wednesday was 0.04°C higher than in any previous week in 44 years of record-keeping, according to data released by the University of Maine.

The UN secretary general’s comments come as the UAE gears up to host the Cop28 climate-change conference later this year.

China has been hit by four separate heatwaves in the past month, while hundreds died in India as a result of extreme heat.

There have also been almost 20,000 wildfires in North America this year, according to the US National Interagency Fire Centre.

This has caused worsening air quality for almost 100 million people, due to tinder dry conditions in forests.

Dhaka, in Bangladesh, recorded its highest temperatures for 60 years, when it reached 40°C, resulting in power cuts and school closures.

In the UAE, doctors warned residents to take extra care as temperatures pushed up towards 50°C.

A UAE-based expert warned of the worsening effects of climate change.

“Indeed the acceleration of global warming is out of control and signs of this have been observed in different parts of the world, from extreme temperatures in US, to extreme flooding in Spain and lowest sea ice extent on record,” said Dr Diana Francis, who heads the environmental and geophysical sciences lab at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi.

“Climate change extremes will still increase even if emissions started to go down in the coming years.

“This is due to the latency in the climate system response.”

Dr Diana Francis, who heads the environmental and geophysical sciences lab at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. Antonie Robertson / The National
Dr Diana Francis, who heads the environmental and geophysical sciences lab at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. Antonie Robertson / The National

She also explained how the GCC region was suffering from the effects of climate change.

“The Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula region has been warming twice as fast as the rest of the world over the past two decades,” she said.

“This means that the region has less time to adapt to global warming and its impacts from extreme temperatures during summer, which add to the already extreme heat as well as extreme rainfall and associated flooding in winter, and severe dust storms caused by droughts.”

The National reported on Friday that Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the President-designate for Cop28, had said there needs to be greater support for developing nations vulnerable to extreme events linked to climate change.

Dr Al Jaber, who is also the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, was speaking during a visit to Pakistan.

“At Cop28, the world’s focus must be fixed on the needs and hopes of people, their voices must be heard and we must respond to their demands with ambition and action,” Dr Al Jaber said.

thenationalnews.com 07 08 2023

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