2020 began with devastating wildfires across Australia, but even by the end of the year, things haven’t gotten much better. Storms have erupted over the Atlantic, massive wildfires have engulfed California, Africa is suffering from severe drought, and Asia is suffering from flooding. Each continent is under attack not only from above, but also from the ocean.
Scientists had previously announced that sea levels were rising in line with the “worst” forecasts. Since the 1990s, it has risen by 1.8 cm due to the heating of the Earth’s surface and the melting of polar ice caps. While this figure may seem small, in fact, a centimeter of sea level rise usually means the migration of one million people.
The growing intensity of these events is attributed by scientists to the changing climate, believing that nature is sending us a warning. According to Adam Smith, NOAA Research Fellow, climate disasters have “really made a year of disaster.”
“Climate change is affecting many of these disasters,” he told The Associated Press
United Nations Environment Program Director Inger Andersen added that “nature is sending us a signal.” “And it will be better if we hear him,” she said.
“Wherever you go, whatever continent you come to, the elements are falling on us everywhere. It is currently the warmest three-year period we have ever seen. [Rising] Arctic temperatures, [raging] forest fires, etc. etc.” – Andersen said.
Despite COVID-19, which halted human activities in almost the entire world, emissions continue to rise, according to a recent report from the UN, the World Meteorological Organization and other scientists. In particular, we are talking about the three main greenhouse gases – methane, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide, Express writes.
As of 2019, global fossil CO2 emissions reached a new all-time high of 36.7 gigatons (Gt), 62% higher than in 1990. Researchers estimate that the probability of a 1.5 ° C increase in global temperature on Earth by 2024 is 20%.