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Record heat concerns!

Record heat concerns!

Global surface temperatures in March were 0.1C higher than the previous record for the month, set in 2016, and 1.68C higher than the pre-industrial average, according to data released last week by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).  


C3S supports society by providing authoritative information about the past, present and future climate in Europe and the rest of the world, with a mission to support adaptation and mitigation policies of the European Union by providing consistent and authoritative information about climate change.

The latest report by C3S stressed that over the past 12 months, average global temperatures have risen to 1.58C, above pre-industrial levels. The figure recorded in March was the 10th consecutive monthly record, with experts warning that if the anomaly does not stabilise by August, “the world will be in uncharted territory”.

In fact, I became alarmed when l read the latest bleak report about global warming from C3S, but I wasn't surprised in the least. This is because even without any instrument to measure the temperature in March myself, I really felt something was not right. It was extremely warm everywhere so l can really identify with the C3S analysis.

Frankly, I am very worried about the rising global temperature, which is mainly due to emissions, supported by human behaviour. I am also worried that despite all the efforts made, and the seemingly strong political will to address global warming, the battle is far from won.

In a report shared on X, formerly Twitter, Gavin Schmidt, the Director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was quoted to have remarked that temperature records are being broken each month by up to 0.2C.
As I explained in the July 22, 2023, edition of this column, climate risk is real. The earth is, indeed, baking. In fact, in the week of July 22, 2023, about 200 people in Switzerland were forced to flee their homes in an Alpine village, land temperatures hit 60C in Spain, more than 100 million Americans were under extreme heat warnings, parts of Canada were on fire, heatwave in China, and extreme floods in Japan and India.

Meteorologists, environmentalists and climate experts are united in their call for swift climate action if the future generation were to have a home called Earth. The heatwave and floods portrayed by all the major media outlets, thermometers soaring to more than 60C in some parts of the world, desperate faces of fire crew fighting to bring the burning homes and bushes under control, all symbolise the desperate battle yet to come if the fight against climate risk is not taken a notch up.

With an average temperature of about 48C, Europe is now the world’s fastest-warming continent. In fact, according to available data, over 60,000 died from heat waves in 2022 in Europe. But the solution lies with us.

As l have repeatedly stated, dinosaurs lasted for millions of years, and records also show that Neanderthals, which became extinct between 40,000 and 28,000 years ago, were said to have existed for about a quarter of a million years but homo sapiens have existed barely 100,000 years and is fast running out of time.

We are fast running out of time because we have, it appears, over-populated the world, turned the land into a desert with our crude methods of farming, production, pollution, destroyed the animal insect and are therefore exposed to diseases, and destroyed the plant life that sustains us.

We have, ultimately, turned the climate in the worst direction. Ecological degradation, especially those to do with poor human activities and global climate chaos must be addressed. There is a need for human behaviour to be redirected to sustain the environment as there is the need for sustainable and accountable behaviour that will not compromise the life of the future generation.

The fight against climate risk is not enough, says Ban Ki-moon, the former UN secretary-general, stressing that “the world’s largest fund to help developing nations weather the climate crisis remains an ‘empty shell’, despite decades of promises by rich nations”.

“We need to see a massive acceleration in mobilising trillions of dollars needed to keep the world from climate collapse,” Ban stated in March 2022. All in all, the fight against climate risk is not enough. International climate finance from rich to poor countries is between five and 10 times short of what is needed, according to a UN report filed almost four years ago.

 According to the report, even though $340 billion is needed by 2030 to help poorer countries adapt to climate breakdown, money set aside amounted to only $29 billion.
“Some government and business leaders are saying one thing – but doing another.

Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic,” said UN secretary general, António Guterres, in reference to claims by some governments and businesses to be on track in the fight against climate risk.
And, to strengthen the need for action to mitigate climate risk, Guterres was of the view that addressing climate risks “is death” but “the good news is that a liveable future remains within grasp – just”. The former UN chief, Ban, says: “We have no time to lose”.

Commenting on climate risk, Gaia Vince, award-winning British environmental journalist wrote the following in the UK Guardian: “Where are you at with your five stages of grief for the Holocene?

 That’s the geological epoch we were living in for the past 11,700 years – the period when humans invented agriculture, built cities, invented writing, [and] became ‘modern’, essentially.

All of history took place in this epoch, marked by its congenial, relatively predictable climate, in which ice sheets retreated from Europe and North America, and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were high enough to enable the flourishing of grains, like rice and wheat.

Now we’ve left those Holocene conditions for the uncharted Anthropocene, an age brought about by human activities and characterised by global climate chaos and ecological degradation.”

The words ring true, and l have also had cause to address climate risk along similar lines.

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