WMO - Press Conference: State of Global Climate 2023 - 19MAR2024 Continuity
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Press Conferences | WMO

WMO - Press Conference: State of Global Climate 2023 - 19 March 2024

UN weather agency sounds “Red Alert” as world shows new heat record in 2023

Last year saw unprecedented climate extremes globally, breaking numerous records, according to the latest flagship report “The State of the Global Climate 2023” launched on Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) at the United Nations in Geneva.

“The year 2023 set new records for every single climate indicator. This annual report shows that the climate crisis is the defining challenge that humanity faces,” said Celeste Saulo, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) when briefing journalists. “It is closely intertwined with inequality crisis as witnessed by growing food insecurity, population displacement and biodiversity loss.”

Looking ahead to 2024, there are concerns that conditions could exacerbate further, especially regarding rising ocean temperatures and diminishing sea ice levels, reported the WMO chief.

“Glaciers loss was the largest on record last year. These are the water towers of the world. They are our freshwater reservoirs. Sea ice depletion in Antarctica was one of the major climate facts recorded in 2023,” said the new WMO Secretary-General who took office in January 2024.

According to WMO, average temperatures have surged to their highest point in the 174 years of recorded history, surpassing pre-industrial levels by 1.45 degrees Celsius with a significant margin.

Also, the unprecedented ocean warmth is cause for particular concern since the oceans were usually playing a great role in keeping the temperature down. It is expected that warming will continue, a change which is irreversible on scales of hundreds to thousands of years.

“Between 80 to 90 per cent of the ocean that recorded marine heatwaves,” said Omar Baddour, WMO's head of climate monitoring. “The marine heatwaves have a very strong influence on coral bleaching, and those ecosystems are very important for fisheries and for marine lives.”

Mr. Baddour emphasized that “the last nine years since 2015 to 2023 are the warmest years on record. The decade 2014 to 2023 is the warmest on record. This demonstrates the acceleration and the continuing of the warming.”

Climate change, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, coupled with the emergence of the natural El Nino climate pattern, pushed the world into record territory in 2023.

“As Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, I am now sounding the red alert about the state of the climate.” However, Ms. Saulo added, that there “is a glimmer of hope. Renewable energy generation is surging. In 2023, clean energy capacity additions increased by almost 50 per cent over 2022.”

The report also reiterated that extreme weather and climate events had major socio-economic impacts on all inhabited continents, such as the extreme rainfall in Libya with heavy loss of life in September.

The Greater Horn of Africa region, which had been experiencing long-term drought, suffered substantial flooding in 2023, particularly later in the year. The flooding displaced 1.8 million people across Ethiopia, Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia and Kenya in addition to the 3 million people displaced internally or across borders by the five consecutive seasons of drought in Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia.

“The most important extreme event that we refer to generally in our report are those related to heat and those that are related to extreme precipitation because those influence the human lives and also the socio-economic impacts,” said Mr. Baddour.

Saulo, a meteorologist from Argentina, stressed the need for early warning systems which are accessible to everyone. “Climate is a driver of conflicts and is a driver for migrations, and these migrations sometimes are completely out of our control.” She added that “the only way that the WMO can assist very effectively in this way is through the early warnings on the one hand and providing better climate services to really understand how to adapt to different situations.”

The State of the Global Climate report was released ahead of World Meteorological Day on 23 March. Dozens of experts and partners contributed to the report, including UN organizations, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and Global Data and Analysis Centers.

-ends- 

STORY: Report launch State of Global Climate 2023 – WMO  

TRT: 3:28”

SOURCE: UNTV CH 

RESTRICTIONS: NONE 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS 

ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 

DATELINE: 19 March 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND 

 

1.      Exterior medium shot: UN flag alley  

2.      Wide shot: speakers at the podium in the press room 

3.      SOUNDBITE (English) – Celeste Saulo, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO): “The year 2023 set new records for every single climate indicator. This annual report shows that the climate crisis is the defining challenge that humanity faces. It is closely intertwined with inequality crisis as witnessed by growing food insecurity, population displacement and biodiversity loss.”

4.      Medium shot: speakers at the podium filmed from behind during the press conference 

5.      SOUNDBITE (English) – Celeste Saulo, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO): “Glaciers loss was the largest on record last year. These are the water towers of the world. They are our freshwater reservoirs. Sea ice depletion in the Antarctica was one of the major climate facts recorded in 2023.”

6.      Medium shot: Journalists in press room

7.      SOUNDBITE (English) – Celeste Saulo, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO): “As Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, I am now sounding the red alert about the state of the climate. There is, however, a glimmer of hope. Renewable energy generation is surging. In 2023, clean energy capacity additions increased by almost 50 per cent over 2022.”

8.      Medium shot: speakers at the podium in the press room getting photographed

9.      SOUNDBITE (English) - Omar Baddour, WMO's head of climate monitoring: “The last nine years since 2015 to 2023 are the warmest years on record. The decade 2014 to 2023 is the warmest on record. This demonstrates the acceleration and the continuing of the warming.”

10.   Wide shot: speakers at the podium filmed from behind during the press conference with journalists in the press room  

11.  SOUNDBITE (English) - Omar Baddour, WMO's head of climate monitoring: “The (year) 2023 recorded between 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the ocean that recorded marine heatwaves. So, also the marine heatwaves have a very strong influence on coral bleaching, and those ecosystems are very important for fisheries and for marine lives.”

12.   Medium shot: Camera people in press room

13.  SOUNDBITE (English) - Omar Baddour, WMO's head of climate monitoring: “The most important extreme event that we refer to generally in our report are those related to heat and those that are related to extreme precipitation because those which influence the human lives and also the socio-economic impacts.”

14.   Wide shot: speakers at the podium with journalists in the press room  

15.  SOUNDBITE (English) - Celeste Saulo, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO): “Climate is a driver of conflicts and is a driver for migrations, and these migrations sometimes are completely out of our control and we cannot help that people that are moving because they are desperate, because they cannot provide food to their families. So we have to help them adapt, and the only way that the WMO can assist very effectively in this way is through the early warnings on the one hand, and providing better climate services to really understand how to adapt to different situations.”

16.   Close up, photographer taking picture

17.   Close up, journalist listening  

18.   Medium shot, camerawomen filming


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