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Global warming acute problem the world is dragging its feet on

China Daily | Updated: 2023-07-11 08:25

Luo Jie | China Daily

The global average temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius on July 3, the highest average temperature in the world since records began being maintained, shows data from the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction. A day later, the record was broken as the global average temperature reached 17.18 degrees Celsius.

As early as June 22, the observatory in the southern suburbs of Beijing recorded 41.1 C, the second highest ever temperature. In subsequent days, Beijing and many other places in China witnessed scorching weather. China is not the only country recording such high temperatures. According to an Associated Press report, prolonged heat has claimed 119 lives in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and 47 in Bihar, while hundreds more were in hospital with fever, breathing difficulties and other health issues.

The World Meteorological Organization recently said El Nino has re-emerged in the tropical Pacific after a seven-year absence and there was a 90 percent chance it will persist through the second half of the year.

According to scientists, the world will continue to record high temperatures in the coming five years. That means the world will see violent wildfires, hot weather, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, and mudslides leading to more disasters and deaths.

The heat wave apart, the world could see energy, food, economic, political, social and human survival crises. Soaring energy prices, crop failures and the risk of an economic crisis will deter more countries from abandoning the use of coal, and the emissions from use of coal will further compound climate change.

After record heat in July, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that climate change was getting "out of control" and that if humans continue to delay taking the required critical steps, they were headed for a "catastrophic situation".

A recent study also concluded that as ocean temperatures rise because of climate change, in the worst-case scenario 76.8 percent of the world's corals will disappear by 2100.

The world is facing a series of crises, such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the civil strife in Sudan, the fierce fight between Palestine and Israel, and big power games. But we fail to see that climate change and extreme weather events are graver, more long-term problems. We have just one inhabitable planet, and if it is no longer suitable for life, what will humans do?


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