The "war on nature"
Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.
What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”
The big picture: 2020 will go down as one of the three warmest years on record.
- The World Meteorological Organization said this year is set to end about 2.2°F warmer than the last half of the 1800s.
- That's a half degree away from the limit set by the Paris climate accord, which could be exceeded by 2024, the WMO said today.
Among the dozens of extremes of 2020, from the WMO report:
- Record 30 Atlantic named tropical storms and hurricanes.
- Death Valley had the hottest temperature on Earth in the last 80 years.
- Record wildfires in the western U.S. and record heat in Australia.
- Record wildfires and a prolonged heat wave in the Arctic.
- Record low Arctic sea ice was reported for April and August, and the yearly minimum, in September, was the second lowest on record.
Between the lines: It's projected to get worse before it gets better, judging by current fossil fuel production projections, reports Axios' Ben Geman.
The bottom line: Guterres urged American students and citizens to do “everything you can” to get their governments to curb emissions more quickly, because no climate plan works without the U.S. playing a major role.