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Climate Change Impacting Everything, Attribution Studies Not ‘Really’ Required: WMO Deputy Chief

Climate change is impacting everything, the world needs to ensure that the CO2 concentration doesn’t exceed the threshold

Climate change impacting everything, attribution studies not 'really' required: WMO deputy chief
The WMO Deputy Secretary General said the world is probably much closer to a point where the average temperature rise will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels

Dubai: Observing that attribution science is improving by the day, a top World Meteorological Organisation official has said that climate change is impacting everything to such an extent that attribution studies to link any event to global warming are not “really” required. In an interview with PTI on the sidelines of the international climate negotiations here, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Deputy Secretary General Elena Manaenkova said the world is probably much closer to a point where the average temperature rise will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels.

Also Read: What Are The Learnings From 2023, The Year India Saw Extreme Weather Events

Answering a question on the credibility of attribution studies, she said,

These studies are also improving like any other science and right now, they give good reliability to a lot of events that can be connected to climate change.

However, she said climate change is impacting everything so much that “the requirement of attributing any event to climate change, in my view, is an unnecessary burden”.

Yes, science is now capable of attributing most of these events, but what difference does it really make?

Ms Manaenkova, who’s attending her 17th UN climate conference, shared her insights with PTI on Wednesday (December 7).

Asked how realistic it is to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, she said the world is probably much closer to the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, which will commit it to 1.5 for the long term.

The physicist said,

CO2 sits in the atmosphere for thousands of years; the natural cycle doesn’t remove it from the atmosphere. The world needs to ensure that the CO2 concentration doesn’t exceed the threshold necessary to limit the average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

She added,

Thereafter, you’ll be sure, after some ups and downs, that it (the average temperature rise) will stabilise at 1.5 degrees Celsius or 1.7 degrees Celsius or whatever we will have.

Earth’s global surface temperature has risen by around 1.15 degrees Celsius, and the CO2 spewed into the atmosphere, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution, is closely tied to it.

In the business-as-usual scenario, the world is heading for a temperature rise of around 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, scientists have warned.

Also Read: COP28 Special: How To Make Agriculture Sustainable And Water Positive Amid Climate Change?

According to the WMO, the year 2023 is set to be the hottest on record.

According to a report released by a global team of around 120 scientists on Tuesday, atmospheric CO2 levels stand at 419.3 parts per million in 2023, 51 per cent above pre-industrial levels.

If current CO2 emissions levels persist, the remaining carbon budget for a 50 per cent chance to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could be exceeded in 7 years, and in 15 years for 1.7 degrees Celsius, they said.

Asked if climate change is making weather prediction difficult, Manaenkova said while climate change makes it a bit tougher, it is not the only reason it is tricky.

She said,

What makes weather prediction less difficult is the improvement in modelling technology, an abundance of observations, and the understanding of atmospheric processes.

Also Read: World On Verge Of Breaching 5 Climate Tipping Points, Scientists Warn In New Report

The WMO deputy chief highlighted the need to improve long-term climate projections, saying it would be much more helpful “if we started giving quantitative predictions” and not just probabilities.

Climate projections are getting better at helping experts understand climate change, but they are still really complex and hard for cities and businesses to use, she said.

Ms Manaenkova said the Geneva-based WMO is developing a mechanism which will be able to tell how much CO2 is emitted in each territory and its source.

It is not a verification mechanism. Its objective is to ascertain everyone’s contribution to global warming, she said.

As negotiators debated ways to reduce emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas at COP28, Manaenkova said,

Let’s finally get serious.” “It’s challenging for countries to make hard decisions, but I think it’s all about choices.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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