New York, 15 February 2022 (TDI): Climate change’s effects are already “extremely obvious” and “happening globally,” the Head of the United Nations’ meteorological service WMO, said Monday at the start of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 55th session.

The meeting began with the adoption of the report of the second IPCC Working Group on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, which will be included in the Sixth Assessment Report later this month.

The first IPCC Working Group report concentrated on the physical science of climate change and affected the work of last year’s United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow, COP26.

Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), reminded COP26 delegates that “not a single Head of State questioned the scientific facts.” He said that the message had been heard and that it had been taken in.

Disaster Repercussions

There are some places on Earth that are more vulnerable to climate change than others. The WMO Chairman said that tropical areas and developing countries, especially in Africa, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands, are more at risk.

Research from the WMO last year found that over the last 50 years, 4.5 billion people have been impacted by a major weather-related disaster.
As a result of better early warning systems, the number of people killed has dropped, but the amount of damage to the economy has skyrocketed.

Only a week ago, catastrophic Cyclone Batisirai struck Madagascar as a Category 4 storm, wreaking havoc on the economy and human well-being, according to Taalas.

Adaptive target

In the past, people thought that setting a goal of 2°C was enough for climate change. However, according to the UNFCC’s last special assessment, the impact of 1.5 degrees Celsius would be “game-changing.”

In the next few years, the WMO chairman said that the goal for climate mitigation efforts was to keep the temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Because COP26 was the second-best meeting after Paris, he said that the 1.5 degree Celsius target is “barely alive.” “The job must continue,” he stated plainly.
Adapting to climate change ‘happening worldwide’, essential
Adapting to climate change ‘happening worldwide’, essential
Adaptation is critical

The top WMO official said that adapting to climate change is important because of rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and more disasters. As he stated, “The economy, food security, infrastructure, ecology, and health are all impacted by climate change.”

Hence adjustments must be made as per the effects of climate change. This translates into droughts, flooding, tropical storms, heatwaves, water scarcity, and coastal inundation.

COP27 will take place in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, later this year, followed by COP28 in the United Arab Emirates next year.

More pledges at such gatherings are needed. This is a goal we are pursuing. The next Conference of the Parties will have a more African flavor since it is the most affected continent.

Taalas explained that “significant gaps” in Africa and the Caribbean islands impede climate adaptation. When he spoke, he said that the WMO is putting a lot of effort into multi-hazard early warning systems that can predict how disasters will affect people.

There is a new way to get money to improve observation systems, new water, and climate coalition that focuses on water scarcity, and a stronger partnership with the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction Office (UNDRR) to set up a “center of excellence on climate change and disasters.”

Adapting to climate change ‘happening worldwide’, essential
Adapting to climate change ‘happening worldwide’, essential
“We are working with groups like the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations Development Program, and the Green Climate Fund to get more money for early warning systems,” the WMO Chief said.
Creating a timeline of “previous and future changes”

Inger Anderson, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), also talked about COP26 when she said that “the IPCC’s work is the foundation for climate action.”

She said that the report of the first working group “kept up the pressure on world leaders.” Many delegates’ speeches and the final resolution in Glasgow show how important it was.

There is now a second group, Working Group II, that will present the most up-to-date evidence about how changes in the Earth’s climate system have affected and will affect life on our planet. Social justice and indigenous knowledge are important to this report on effects, adaptability, and vulnerability, Inger Anderson said.

Adapting to climate change ‘happening worldwide’, essential
Adapting to climate change ‘happening worldwide’, essential

Hoesung Lee, who chaired the meeting, told everyone that this was the end of a “rigorous and comprehensive” review of the report.

Governments and scientists will collaborate over the next two weeks to deliver a “sound, tested, and robust summary” that is “critically vital for policymakers worldwide,” he said. He said that he had no doubt that over the next two weeks, positive and collaborative work will be seen.