Issue Brief on “WMO 2023 Report: Climate Crisis Sparks Billions in Losses from Extreme Events”

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Introduction:

In a new report unveiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), it was revealed that records for greenhouse gas levels, surface temperatures, ocean heat and acidification, sea level rise, Antarctic Sea ice cover, and glacier retreat have not only been surpassed but often shattered. The WMO State of the Global Climate 2023 report paints a dire picture, attributing misery and economic losses in the billions of dollars to heatwaves, floods, droughts, wildfires, and increasingly intense tropical cyclones.[1]

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres expressed alarm, stating, “Sirens are blaring across all major indicators. Some records aren’t just chart-topping, they’re chart-busting. And changes are speeding up. [2]” WMO Secretary-General Celeste Saulo echoed this urgency, remarking, “Never have we been so close – albeit temporarily at the moment – to the 1.5°C lower limit of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The WMO community is sounding the Red Alert to the world.”[3]

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