By Syeda Wafa Bukhari
The latest report from the World Meteorological Organization highlights that the past eight years have been the hottest on record, resulting in rising sea levels and ocean acidity. The increase in greenhouse gas emissions, which are heavily present in the environment, has caused significant changes across the globe in terms of land, oceans, and atmosphere.
The organization states that this report, which is set to be released before Earth Day, calls for a significant and accelerated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also urges UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to make a strong appeal for this cause.
Furthermore, the report emphasizes the need for significant investment on a large scale to help those highly vulnerable countries and regions adapt to climate change and strengthen themselves against it, as they have a minimal role in contributing to this change.
Professor Petri Talas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), has stated that the increasing emissions of greenhouse gases and changing weather patterns are severely affecting people worldwide, causing them to suffer from extreme weather events.
Last year, there were frequent droughts in East Africa. Pakistan had record-breaking rainfall. The hottest waves in China and Europe affected millions. These events led to increased food insecurity, mass migration, billions of dollars in losses, and deaths.
WMO invested in a timely warning system to limit the impact of extreme weather on people. The report also highlights the importance of investing in renewable energy technology.
The report examines the social and economic impacts of extreme weather, which have devastated the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people. In East Africa, five years of consecutive drought and armed conflict have left 20 million people at risk of famine.
Pakistani floods in July and August last year killed over 1,700 people and affected 33 million. The floods caused an overall economic loss of $30 billion. By October 2022, 8 million people were internally displaced.
The report also said that dangerous weather conditions forced many people to relocate. Additionally, 95 million people who already lived without homes were affected.
The writer is a student of BS Journalism studies at Punjab University and can be reached at:[email protected].