The global temperature is now projected to rise at a much faster rate than expected, says the World Meteorologic Organization (WMO).
We are on track for a global temperature gain that could almost triple the goal set by the Paris Agreement, the international climate agreement that Donald Trump in November announced the US will withdraw from.
The withdrawal of the world’s richest nation and second-biggest carbon polluter—coupled with the Trump team’s efforts to block any climate action at home and abroad—has greatly undermined both domestic and global progress at slowing warming.
Bloomberg reports the WMO findings show an increase of 3-5°C or 5.4-9°F by the century’s close. The Paris target for containing global warming was to keep the increase “well below 2°C” (3.6)—and ideally no higher than 1.5°C—above pre-industrial revolution levels.
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas discussed the findings with reporters in Madrid at the United Nations conference, “If we wanted to reach a 1.5 degree increase we would need to bend emissions and at the moment countries haven’t been following on their Paris pledges.”
What would the predicted temperature gain look like?
Should the planet reach the predicted temperature gains, the changes to the planet would be drastic. According to research done by the Pottsdam Institute for Climate Impact and Research and Climate Analytics, some of the changes that are expected to occur include:
- Melting of the ice at both of the poles
- Rainforests transforming into deserts
- Interior of continents flooding due to rising sea levels
- Wide-spread extinction of animal and plant species
“Each decade from the 1980s has been warmer than the previous decade. 2019 will conclude the warmest decade in records that stretch back to the mid-19th century,” said Colin Morice of the Met Office.
The world is already seeing an increase in catastrophic “once in a century” weather events.
What is being done?
While the current administration in the United States is busy pulling out of the Paris Agreement, the leadership of other countries and major companies are striving to improve.
European Union leaders are drafting a statement that will solidify their commitment to hitting net-zero emissions by 2050. Plus, they are planning to heavily invest in green technologies. A statement is expected to be released in mid-December.
A leading oil company in Spain, Repsol SA, is aligning with the goals set forth by the Paris Agreement—the first oil company to do so. Repsol SA has officially announced it will cut all greenhouse emissions by 2050.
Another major company, Cargill Inc, is shooting for a 30% reduction of emissions in their agribusiness by 2030.
President Trump has long been a skeptic of climate change, even calling it a hoax made up by the Chinese. However, 2,200 business owners in the United States have signed the “We Are Still In” pledge hoping to pick up the slack.
Apple is already running on 100% green energy.