The last four years have been the hottest ever recorded, the UN said Wednesday, which sees the confirmation of global warming caused by record levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The United Nations takes as a reference the year 1850, when the systematic temperature readings began.

The United Nations relies on data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which reported that the average global surface temperature in 2018 was about 1.0 ° C higher than the prevailing weather at the time. preindustrial (1850-1900). "This year (2018) ranks fourth among the hottest,"continues the UN specialized agency. 2016 remains the year of all records. And 2019 is not coming under better auspices.

But "It is much more important to examine the long-term evolution of temperature (…) than to operate a ranking between different years"WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas said, recalling that over the past 22 years, the 20 hottest years ever have been recorded. "Extreme weather events or high-impact events hit countless countries and millions of people last year."

WMO cites for example the intense heat wave experienced by Australia in January, but also opposite extremes, like the recent cold wave in the United States: this one "Certainly does not contradict the reality of climate change," says Petteri Taalas. "The Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the global average, and a considerable amount of ice has already melted. These changes are affecting northern hemisphere weather patterns in general, where cold anomalies at lower latitudes may be related, in some cases, to Arctic upheavals. What's happening at the poles is not confined to the poles but influences weather and climate conditions in other regions, where hundreds of millions of people live. "

"The international community must give top priority to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and climate adaptation measures", says WMO again.

LIBERATION with AFP

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