Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018
On March 28, 2019, the World Meteorological Organization published its 25th Statement on the State of the Global Climate. Through various climate indicators, as diverse as atmospheric CO2, surface temperature, ocean heat and acidification, sea level, sea-ice extent and glaciers melting, this report gives a rather dire view of the current state of the climate variability at global level. According to the WMO, the average global temperature has already reached approximately 1 °C above pre-industrial levels.
Climate change and its impacts are still debated, even amongst the scientific community. There may also be a bit of climate-fatigue growing lately in the population, as more and more publications or articles attempt to link everything to climate change, albeit the relation can sometimes seem far-fetched. Yet, it is impossible not to notice throughout this WMO report the extent to which 2018 is a year of either record-breaking levels, or with climate metrics that rank amongst the highest or lowest levels registered.
The main impacts of climate risk clearly affect the human population: jeopardized food security, population displacement, and effects of heat on health. Inaction thus seems too high a risk when confronted to the possible consequences of climate change –as highlighted in this report or in the various publications from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). In other words, whether we believe or not that “every fraction of a degree of warming makes a difference”, striving towards meeting climate change targets should remain a top priority.