Greenhouse gas concentrations higher than in all of human civilisation

The latest data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service shows that Europe just had the warmest October on record, with temperatures almost two degrees above the 1991-2020 average.

The warming that we are seeing here on land would be even more rapid if it wasn’t for the oceans. It’s calculated that they are absorbing up to 90% of the excess heat in the atmosphere trapped by greenhouse gases. And they are suffering.

The Mediterranean has suffered repeated heatwaves over the past couple of years and Jean-Pierre Gattuso, the CNRS Research Director, at the Laboratoire D’océanographie De Villefranche-Sur-Mer describes what impact that is having.

“The main effect of marine heat waves is massive mortality of invertebrates and plants, mollusks, sponges, and corals. Between the surface and 50 metres in depth, there are many invertebrates and plants that are affected negatively and die.”

Marine life in the Mediterranean under threat from successive heatwaves

But do the decisions that are taken at COP27, make any difference and are they really going to change things like acidification and heatwaves? Jean-Pierre Gattuso again. 

“The negotiations that are taking place at COP 27 are obviously extremely important. The scenarios that are being projected by the IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) show that if the Paris agreement is implemented quickly and fully, we can stabilize temperatures and ocean acidification. This does not mean that we will return to the situation as it was before. It means we can stop the warming and stop the increase in acidity.”

The atmosphere at COP27 is business-like because everybody knows that the window is closing to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius.

Jeremy Wilks, Euronews, 14 November 2022. Full article.

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