A new United Nations report published Sunday states the last two years alone have accounted for about 10% of the overall rise in sea level that the world has experienced in the last three decades. File Photo by Marco Varro/Shutterstock/UPI
Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The last eight years have been the hottest eight on record, according to a new United Nations report that paints a grim picture concerning the world's fight to curb climbing temperatures.
The State of Global Climate 2022 report was published by the World Meteorological Organization on Sunday, the first day of the 27th U.N. Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where nations have congregated to discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which 191 parties signed in 2016 pledging to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
According to the report, the global mean temperature this year has been at about 1.15 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which makes it one of the coolest years of the last eight, but the U.N. experts warn that this is not reversing the long-term trend of rising temperatures, and it is only a matter of time until the planet sets another record.
The report states that the signs and impacts of climate change are becoming more dramatic, with the rate of sea level rise having doubled since 1993 with the last two and a half years alone accounting for 10% of the overall rise in sea level that the world has experienced in the past three decades.
Glaciers in the European Alps experienced record melt this year with the Greenland ice sheet seeing its 26th consecutive year of losing mass while receiving its first rain fall in September, it said.
"The greater the warming, the worse the impacts," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. "We have such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now that the lower 1.5 degrees Celsius of the Paris Agreement is barely within reach."
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to unveil an action plan during COP27, which runs until Nov. 18, to ensure that every person on the planet is covered by an early warning system within the next five years.
In a video statement released Sunday, Guterres described the report as a "chronicle of climate chaos" and that at the rate the world is going, global temperature rise could reach 2.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.
"We are headed for a global catastrophe," he said.
"We must answer the planet's distress signal with action -- ambitious, credible climate action. COP 27 must be the place -- and now must be the time."