In a shocking revelation, United Nations World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) released data has showed the past four years were officially the 'four warmest on record'. Following this, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for urgent climate action and increased ambition ahead of his climate summit in September. WMO confirmed that 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 were the four warmest years recorded to date. The analysis, based on the monitoring performed by five leading international organisations, also shows that the global average surface temperature in 2018 was approximately 1° Celsius above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) baseline.
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said, "The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one." The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years. The degree of warming during the past four years has been exceptional, both on land and in the ocean, Taalas added. "Temperatures are only part of the story. Extreme and high impact weather affected many countries and millions of people, with devastating repercussions for economies and ecosystems in 2018," he added.
"Many of the extreme weather events are consistent with what we expect from a changing climate. This is a reality we need to face up to. Greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate adaptation measures should be a top global priority," Talas sated. Guterres, while noting “with concern” this data, which was first released in November 2018, said it confirms “the urgency of addressing climate action”, and echoes the science presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its October 2018 special report on the impacts of a global warming of 1.5°C.