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282. Highlights of the State of Global Climate 2020

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In line with the climate change summit hosted by U.S. President Biden on April 22, 2021, the Japanese government has also announced a significant greenhouse gas emission target. President Biden expressed concern about the economic costs of neglecting extreme weather events and called for the international community to work together on climate crisis issues that cannot be resolved by a single country.

The State of the Global Climate 2020 published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on April 19th also mentions extreme weather and climate disruption. For many, 2020 will be remembered as the year the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world into an unfathomable crisis, but the report mentioned that 2020 was also a year of extreme weather caused by anthropogenic climate change, affecting lives and destroying livelihoods. In addition, the report provided at list of notable meteorological events in 2020.

  • The concentrations of greenhouse gases such as CO2, CH4, and N2O continued to increase despite a temporary reduction due to COVID-19 containment measures.
  • The year 2020 was one of the hottest years in history and the past six years have been the hottest consecutive years on record.
  • The trend in sea-level trend is rising, and the increasing ocean heat storage and acidification has weakened the ocean's capacity to mitigate climate change.
  • The Arctic minimum sea-ice extent reached its second lowest level in September 2020 and ice loss is accelerating in Antarctica as well.
  • The hurricanes in the North Atlantic have become more active, and abnormal heat waves, droughts and wildfires have resulted in many deaths and tens of billions of dollars in economic losses.
  • The first half of 2020 recorded 9.8 million displacements due to hydrometeorological hazards and disasters.
  • The disruption of logistics brought about by COVID-19 in the agricultural sector, combined with the effects of climate impact, exacerbated the food security crisis.

At the summit, President Biden also emphasized the importance of actions based on scientific knowledge in responding to climate change. This Pick Up corner has also introduced international scientific discussions on climate change. Going forward, the JIRCAS Information Program will continue to systematically collect, analyze, and provide strategic scientific information on global issues such as climate change and food systems.

Reference
WMO. State of the Global Climate 2020 https://library.wmo.int/index.php?lvl=notice_display&id=21880#.YHg0ABMz… 

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Director, Information Program)