State of the Global Climate 2020 Report

The World Meteorological Organisation recently released the “State of the Global Climate 2020” report.

Key Findings of the Report

  • 2011-2020 was the warmest decade in record.
  • COVID-19 and extreme weather events were double blow to millions in the world.
  • The Cyclone Amphan is the costliest tropical cyclone on record in the North Indian Ocean. The Cyclone made a landfall in May 2020 near India-Bangladesh border. The economic losses in India due to the cyclone is approximately 14 billion USD.
  • 2020 is one of the three warmest years on record.
  • The increase in global average temperature as of 2020 was 1.2 degree Celsius as compared to the pre-industrial levels. Pre-industrial levels refer to the period before 1850. The increase has occurred despite the cooling effect of La-Nina in 2020.
  • India had one of its two wettest monsoon seasons since 1994. The average rainfall between June and September was 9% above the long-term average.
  • Around 2,000 deaths were reported during monsoon seasons due to flooding, landslides and heavy rains.
  • The global average carbon dioxide concentrations have exceeded 410 parts per million. This is 148% higher than the pre-industrial levels.

Current Scenario

Only 59 countries that represent 54% of global emissions have framed their net-zero targets. Of these only six countries have legislations on net-zero emissions. Seven countries were categorised as “critically insufficient”. The pledges of these countries will lead to four degrees increase in temperatures. This includes US and Russia.

India, Bhutan, Costa Rica and Philippines are compliant with Paris Agreement according to Climate Action Tracker.

About the Report

The World Meteorological Organisation is publishing the report since 1993. The report mainly documents indicators of climate system such as increasing land and ocean temperatures, greenhouse gas concentrations, melting ice, sea-level increase, glacier retreat and extreme weather.

The report also highlights the impacts of climate change on socio-economic development, food security, migration and marine ecosystems.

Way Forward

  • According to the United Nations, the report is a warning call. The countries should commit to Net Zero emissions by 2050 as early as possible.
  • The United Nations is also pushing its member countries to submit an action plan well ahead of COP26. The action plan should be ambitious enough to cut global emissions by 45% by 2030 as compared to 2010 levels.

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