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Hottest April day ever recorded

Amid flash-floods in the East and Horn of Africa – and sand and dust storms in the Arabian Gulf – Clare Nullis from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) told journalists at UN headquarters in Geneva that this week’s storms in northern India had reportedly left more than 100 dead.

” We’ve never seen a temperature above 50 degrees C in April.” – Clare Nullis (WMO)

What may well be the hottest temperature ever recorded for April, was registered this week in Pakistan, she added. A weather station in the city of Nawabshah registered 50.2 degrees Celsius on Monday; or 122.4 degrees Fahrenheit. 

“This is April – not June and July – this is April,” she exclaimed. “We don’t normally see temperatures above 50 degrees: in fact, as we’re aware, we’ve never seen a temperature above 50 degrees C in April.”

Moving considerably further south, to another climatic region of the world, A WMO committee of experts also announced on Thursday that a record high temperature recorded for the Antarctic which was set back in in March 2015, still stands.

The record high reading, was under threat of being surpassed by a temperature recorded at a nearby weather station, in the same period of warm weather, and in more or less the same location.

The existing record of 17.5 degrees Celsius was recorded at the Argentine Research Base Esperanza, near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, on 23 March.

The rival reading which, if verified, would have set a new record, was registered a day earlier in the same area, at an automatic weather station established by the Czech Republic on Davies Dome. But polar meteorology experts examined the data closely and made their long-awaited announcement on Friday that the existing record still stands.

Article source: https://news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2018/05/1008922

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Nations begin drafting ‘operating manual’ for climate action at UN conference in Bonn

“We are witnessing the severe impacts of climate change throughout the world”, said the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa, at a press conference. 

“Every credible scientific source is telling us that these impacts will only get worse if we do not address climate change and it also tells us that our window of time for addressing it is closing very soon,” she added. 

“We need to dramatically increase our ambitions,” stressed the UNFCCC chief, outlining three priorities.  

First, all stakeholders – including governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses, investors and citizens – must accelerate climate action by 2020.  

Second, she said, the international community must complete the Paris Agreement guidelines, or operating manual, to unleash the potential of the accord. 

Third, conditions must be improved to enable countries to be more ambitious in determining their own national policies to slow down global warming.

At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) held last November under the leadership of Fiji, nations agreed to accelerate and complete their work to put in place the guidelines – officially known as the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) –  at COP24 in Katowice, Poland next December. 

At this Bonn meeting, which will run through 10 May, Governments will start drafting texts to be finalized at COP24.

Finishing off the operating manual is also necessary to assess whether the world is on track to achieve the goals of the historic Paris Agreement limiting greenhouse gas emissions, while pursuing efforts to keep the temperature rise to less than 1.5°C.

Throughout this year, countries will also focus on how they can scale up their climate ambition and implementation in the pre-2020 period. All countries share the view that climate action prior to 2020 is essential.  
 

Article source: https://news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2018/04/1008572

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Climate Action Special Envoy Bloomberg pledges $4.5 million to help UN fight climate change in line with the Paris Agreement

The billionaire philanthropist and former Mayor of New York City, pledged last June  to make up the Secretariat’s funding shortfall, caused by US President Donald Trump’s announced withdrawal from the historic 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

The contribution will go towards general operations, including assisting countries to meet targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the accord, agreed by 193 States in the French capital.

In late March, the United States Congress announced that it was cutting funding for this year to the UNFCCC by $4.5 million; from $7.5 million, down to $3 million, according to a media release from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Mr. Bloomberg made the announcement of his contribution on the CBS television programme, ‘Face the Nation’, saying that “America made a commitment and as an American, if the government’s not going to do it, we all have a responsibility.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said via Twitter that he was “very grateful to Michael Bloomberg, not only for his generous support to the United Nations, but also for his global leadership on climate action.” 

The UNFCCC said that with many contributions from signatories to the agreement still outstanding and “a decline in voluntary contributions” the funding was arriving at “a critical time”.

It “strengthens UN Climate Change’s capacity to support developing countries” and allowed more “strategic outreach to promote climate action among stakeholders including cities, regions, business and civil society,” said the Secretariat statement.

The UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, said that “when countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise, they also recognized that achieving that goal would take broad-based global climate action in all sectors, public and private.”

“I welcome this generous contribution from Bloomberg Philanthropies as an important, practical recognition of our need to work together and to step up our response to climate change,” she added.

Mr. Bloomberg added that despite the US withdrawl from the Paris Agreement and funding cuts, he was confident that the US would “meet its commitment by 2025 to reduce greenhouse gases by an agreed amount, and if we do it, hopefully other countries will do it as well.”

Article source: https://news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2018/04/1007922

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