Global warming remains major culprit behind extreme weather

Updated 2017-07-19 09:16:21 Xinhua
Tourists play in a water park in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, July 15, 2017. Days of heat wave drove many citizens to the water park for fun and coolness. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi)

Tourists play in a water park in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, July 15, 2017. Days of heat wave drove many citizens to the water park for fun and coolness. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi)

Global warming remains the main reason for recent extreme weather conditions worldwide, including the long-lasting heat waves and scorching temperatures across the northern hemisphere, according to a latest study of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Using the climate assessment models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the WMO predicted that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, the Earth's average global surface temperature could rise more than 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, meaning more intense heat waves and more extremely hot days and nights ahead.

For illustration, the WMO and its partners have launched a TV series to show how hot the world's major cities could become by the year 2100 if emissions remain high globally. Paris, for example, will see its average summer daily highs to rise to 29.2 degrees Celsius from 22.7 degrees.

The study, which was released this week, warned that many of the assessed cities could see their maximum daily temperatures in summer rise by as much as 6 to 9 degrees Celsius.

Though the TV programs are just possible scenarios instead of true forecasts, they are based on the most up-to-date climate science data, and they "paint a compelling picture of how climate change may affect daily life in cities where most of the world's population lives," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

The WMO also warned that extreme weather like long-lasting high temperatures and torrential summer storms could also lead to the scarcity in water and energy, problems of public health and transportation, as well as worsened air quality.

Similar conclusions come from a recent report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, which projects a 6-degree rise of average temperature on the Asian continent by the end of this century if global warming is not curbed. In parts of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the average rise could be up to 8 degrees Celsius.

"The global climate crisis are arguably the biggest challenge human civilization faces in the 21st century, with the Asia and Pacific region at the heart of it all," said ADB Vice President Bambang Susantono.

"Countries in Asia and the Pacific are at the highest risk of plummeting into deeper poverty -- and disaster -- if (climate change) mitigation and adaptation efforts are not quickly and strongly implemented."

Despite speculations that the recent extreme weather conditions had links to El Nino effects, the WMO clarified in early July that it was not. Statistics from the UN agency show that since late April, sea surface temperature anomalies in the east-central equatorial Pacific have risen by almost 0.5 degree Celsius, approaching the threshold of El Nino conditions. However, atmospheric patterns have continued to reflect neutral El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions.

Judging from most dynamical models surveyed, the WMO predicts that these slightly above-average but still ENSO-neutral conditions are to persist until the end of 2017. The agency gives a 50-60 percent probability of ENSO-neutral state in the second half of 2017, and a somewhat lower likelihood, at around 35-45 percent, of El Nino, while La Nina, the cold phase of ENSO, stands very little chance of developing.

"Even without a strong El Nino in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory," said World Climate Research Program Director David Carlson.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58January 22 2018 20:05:33

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16January 22 2018 20:05:33

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18January 22 2018 20:05:33

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords