What’s the news?
- A United in Science Report by multiple international scientific agencies has flagged that fossil fuel emissions from coal, gas, cement etc are back to 2019 levels or even higher in 2021.
- Fossil CO2 emissions from coal, oil, gas and cement peaked at 36.64 GtCO2 in 2019, followed by a significant drop of 1.98 GtCO2 (5.6%) in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Global emissions in the power and industry sectors were already at the same level or higher in January-July 2021 than in the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.
- While emissions from road transport remained about 5% lower.
- Concentrations of all major greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (NO) continued to increase in 2020 and the first half of 2021 adding that overall emissions reductions in 2020 likely reduced the annual increase of the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.
- According to the report, there is a high chance that the global average temperature in one of the next five years will be at least 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C) higher than pre-industrial levels.
- Annual global mean near-surface temperature is likely to be within the range 0.9°C to 1.8°C in the next five years.
- The report has also flagged that coastal cities around the world; low lying coastal areas, small islands and deltas will need adaptation strategies urgently.
- The Global mean sea levels rose 20 cm from 1900 to 2018 and at an accelerated rate of 3.7+0.5 mm/yr from 2006 to 2018 and even if emissions are reduced to limit warming to well below 2°C, global mean sea level would likely rise by 0.3–0.6 m by 2100.
- The report shows that the past five-year period is among the hottest on record.
- Ice caps and glaciers continue to melt, sea-level rise is accelerating, the ocean is dying and biodiversity is collapsing.
- The vulnerability of weather disasters has increased by 5 times compared to 1970.
About United in Science Report
- United in Science is coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with input from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Global Carbon Project (GCP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Met Office (UK).
- It presents the very latest scientific data and findings related to climate change to inform global policy and action.