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In a report that reveals the past eight years were the hottest ever recorded on Earth, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says record levels of greenhouse gases have caused “planetary scale changes on land, in the ocean and in the atmosphere”.
The WMO said on Friday in its State of Global Climate 2022 report that global sea levels are rising at more than double the pace they did in the first decade of measurements from 1993 to 2002 and touched a new record high last year.
The organization stated in a report outlining the damage caused by climate change that extreme glacier melt and record ocean heat levels, which cause water to expand, contributed to an average rise in sea levels of 4.62mm a year from 2013 to 2022.
“Melting of glaciers and sea level rise – which again reached record levels in 2022 – will continue to up to thousands of years,” the report said. “Antarctic sea ice fell to its lowest extent on record and the melting of some European glaciers was, literally, off the charts.”
“This report shows that, once again, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continue to reach record levels – contributing to the warming of the land and ocean, melting of ice sheets and glaciers, rising sea levels, and warming and acidifying of oceans,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas wrote in the report’s foreword.
Overall, the UN agency said, 2022 ranked as the fifth or sixth warmest year on record with the mean global temperature 1.15 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average despite the cooling impact of a three-year La Niña climate event in the Pacific Ocean.