Physical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change are anticipated to be increasingly devastating this season.

This is according to a new multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It actually highlights the huge gap between aspirations and reality. WMO warns that, without much more ambitious action, the physical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change will be devastating even further.

The past seven years were the warmest on record. There is a 48 percent chance that during at least one year in the next five years, the annual mean temperature will temporarily be be 1.5°C higher than 1850-1900 average. As global warming increases "tipping points” in the climate system can not be ruled out.

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, says Heatwaves in Europe, Colossal floods in Pakistan, Prolonged and severe droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States, shows there is nothing natural about the new scale of these disasters. "They are the price of humanity’s fossil fuel addiction," he says.

“This year’s United in Science report “Floods, droughts, heatwaves, extreme storms and wildfires are going from bad to worse, breaking records with alarming frequency, " he adds.

The report, United in Science, also shows that greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise to record highs. This explains that, fossil fuel emission rates are now above pre-pandemic levels after a temporary drop due to lockdowns.

Cities that host billions of people and are responsible for up to 70% of human-caused emissions will thus face increasing socio-economic impacts. The report futher highlights that, most vulnerable populations will suffer most, with extreme weather in different parts of the world this year.

“This year’s United in Science report shows climate impacts heading into uncharted territory of destruction. Yet each year we double-down on this fossil fuel addiction, even as the symptoms get rapidly worse,” says Guterres.

Secretary General at WMO, Prof Petteri Taalas, says that climate science is increasingly able to show that many of the extreme weather events experienced have become more likely and more intense due to human-induced climate change."

We have seen this repeatedly this year, with tragic effect. It is more important than ever that we scale up action on early warning systems to build resilience to current and future climate risks in vulnerable communities. That is why WMO is spearheading a drive to ensure Early Warnings for All in the next five years,” he says.