the year 2019 should conclude the hottest decade ever recorded

View of the Cordemais coal station (Loire-Atlantique) from Lavau-sur-Loire, in January 2019.
View of the Cordemais coal station (Loire-Atlantique) from Lavau-sur-Loire, in January 2019. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

With its share of fires, droughts, heat waves and hurricanes, 2019 is expected to be one of the warmest three years since 1850 and marks the end of a decade "Exceptional heat"announced the United Nations at the COP25 in Madrid on Tuesday (December 3rd).

"The year 2019 marks the end of a decade of exceptional heat, ice retreat and record-breaking sea-level rise worldwide because of the greenhouse gases produced by human activities. "The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said at the Conference of the Parties on the climate, which is due to continue until 13 December.

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"2019 should be in the second or third of the hottest years ever" since 1850, when systematic temperature surveys began. "2016, which started with an exceptionally strong El Niño episode, remains the hottest year", says WMO, referring to the warm equatorial current of the Pacific.

Millions of displaced people

The rise in the average sea level is accelerating, the ocean is becoming more acidic, the Arctic sea ice is retreating and the Greenland icecap is melting. This warming has also been accompanied by extreme weather events, such as floods in Iran, droughts in Australia and Central America, heat waves in Europe and Australia, or forest fires that affected Siberia, Indonesia, and Indonesia. 'South America.

"The weather and climate hazards have done heavy damage"WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), more than 10 million people were internally displaced in the first half of the year, including seven due to climate disasters. Floods are the first cause, in the face of storms and droughts. The most affected regions are Asia and the Pacific. "The number of new trips related to extreme weather events could more than triple to around 22 million (of people) at the end of 2019 », reports WMO.

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"Heat waves and floods that once struck "once a century", occur more and more regularly. From the Bahamas to Japan to Mozambique, countries have suffered the devastating effects of tropical cyclones. Forest fires swept the Arctic and Australia », recalls Petteri Taalas. The Secretary General of WMO also insists on "More irregular rainfall" which, combined with population growth, "Will pose significant challenges to food security for vulnerable countries". Since 2018, hunger in the world is rising again, with more than 820 million people affected.

"Almost certainly" the hottest decade since 1850

The UN agency is basing itself on the temperatures recorded between January and October for its provisional balance sheet for 2019, to be specified in March 2020. Over ten months, the global average temperature has been higher by about 1.1 ° C compared to the pre-industrial period. This warming is to bind to "CO levels2 (who) continued to grow in 2019 », according to real-time data on a number of sites.

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2019 is part of the 2010-2019 decade which is "Almost certainly" the hottest ever recorded. "Since the 1980s, each successive decade has been hotter than the previous one", reports WMO. At the current rate, the temperature could rise to 4 or 5 ° C by the end of the century. And even if the states comply with their current commitments, the increase could exceed 3 ° C, when the Paris agreement of 2015 planned to limit global warming worldwide well below 2 ° C, or even 1.5 ° C.

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