The WMO (World Meteorological Organization) Declaration on the State of the Climate in 2015 gave details of records of extremely high temperatures of the earth's surface, warming of the oceans, rising sea levels and various extreme weather events throughout the world.
Serious effects in 2015
In large oceanic areas the existence of a significant warming of the sea surface temperatures was verified. In particular, in the tropical zone of the central and eastern Pacific the water was much warmer than normal due in part to the El Niño phenomenon.
Many countries experienced intense heat waves. South Africa, for example, suffered more than 10 heat waves in different areas across the country and a little longer than usual. On October 28, 2015, the all-time record was broken in the town of Vredendal by registering the highest maximum temperature, which was set at 48.4 ° C.
Much of the world suffered from a variety of medium- to long-term droughts, which caused serious problems and had a major impact on agricultural production and food security. The fires raged in many parts of the globe and Spain was no exception. The alarming Global Warming that the world is experiencing due to greenhouse gases is a sad but palpable reality, which must be recognized as such and for which practical, tangible and applicable solutions are needed now.
The global mean surface temperature in 2015 broke all previous records by a wide margin, standing around 0.76 ° C above the average recorded between 1961 and 1990, due to the virulence of El Niño and anthropogenic global warming.
More of the same for 2016
2016 has already had a beginning that could be described as "fiery" with temperatures that in January and February threatened to break the records of monthly records in many parts of the southern hemisphere of our planet, while snowfalls in several parts of the north have delayed. The extent of Arctic sea ice that is monitored by satellite has registered abnormal temperatures in the first two months of 2016 with an upward trend, according to NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Greenhouse gas concentrations are increasingly significant, reaching almost the threshold of 400 parts per million and the suspension of particles in the air in some cities is becoming a health problem with global repercussions.
Statements from the WMO “Today the Earth is already 1 ° C warmer than at the beginning of the 20th century, so we are halfway to the critical threshold of 2 ° C. The plans adopted so far by nations aimed at halting climate change may not be enough to prevent a temperature rise of up to 3 ° C, ”said WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas.
“In addition to mitigation, it is essential to strengthen adaptation to climate change by investing in disaster early warning systems, as well as in preventive services for climate problems such as drought, floods and health management due to disruptions caused by because of the heat, ”Mr. Taalas stressed.
Worrying acceptance Every year that passes the predictions that there will be floods, extreme storms and climatic phenomena of the most diverse nature, stop being a simple alarm to become sad realities.
Nobody is surprised when they look at the news that a typhoon appeared on the shores of this or that beach in our country or anywhere in the world where such an event was unthinkable until a few years ago. The cruel certainty that Climate Change is here and will stay for a long time is beginning to appear as something "normal" and that is very worrying, since the moment we stop fighting it, it will be when we win the game.
We're still on time?
There is no doubt that it is still time to do something to at least stop the advance of Climate Change and mitigate its consequences. The most serious risks can be reduced through early warning health management systems that provide timely warnings to decision-makers, health services, and the general public. Droughts must be tackled proactively, floods must be prevented with effective measures rather than patches, and help to the victims after they have happened and the same happens with tropical storms or extreme events; foresight can save many lives.