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State of Global Climate Report 2023

Context:

The new annual State of the Global Climate report, published recently by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), found that 2023 was the hottest year on record.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About State of Global Climate Report 2023
  2. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

About State of Global Climate Report 2023:

  • Annual Publication: The State of Global Climate Report 2023 is an annual publication issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
  • Contributors: The report is compiled with the collaboration of numerous experts and partners, including UN organizations, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), Global Data and Analysis Centers, Regional Climate Centres, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW), the Global Cryosphere Watch, and the Copernicus Climate Change Service operated by ECMWF.
Highlights of the 2023 Report:

Record-High Temperatures:

  • 2023 marked the hottest year on record, with the global average near-surface temperature surpassing the pre-industrial baseline by approximately 1.45 °Celsius (with a margin of uncertainty of ± 0.12 °C).
  • It also registered the warmest ten-year period on record.

Climate System Indicators:

  • The year witnessed the breaking of numerous records for indicators of the climate system, including levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs), surface temperatures, ocean heat, sea level rise, Antarctic Sea ice cover, and glacier retreat.

Marine Heatwaves:

  • Nearly one third of the global ocean experienced a marine heatwave on an average day in 2023, posing significant threats to vital ecosystems and food systems.
  • By the end of 2023, over 90% of the ocean had encountered heatwave conditions at some point during the year.

Glacier Loss:

  • The global set of reference glaciers suffered the most extensive loss of ice on record since 1950, driven by extreme melt in both western North America and Europe, as per preliminary data.

Renewable Energy Capacity:

  • Renewable capacity additions surged by almost 50% from 2022 to 2023, reaching a total of 510 gigawatts (GW), marking the highest rate observed in the past two decades.

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

  • The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) responsible for meteorology, climate, operational hydrology, and related geophysical sciences.
  • It serves as the authoritative voice within the UN system regarding the state and behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, climate patterns, and the distribution of water resources.
  • WMO plays a vital role in coordinating international efforts to monitor and assess atmospheric and climate systems, promoting research, facilitating data exchange, and providing weather and climate information for sustainable development.
History:
  • The origins of WMO can be traced back to the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), established in 1873.
  • In 1950, WMO was officially established as the specialized agency of the UN for meteorology, operational hydrology, and related geophysical sciences.
  • Building upon the foundation laid by the IMO, WMO has expanded its scope and activities to address the evolving challenges in meteorology and climate science.
Headquarters and Membership:
  • The headquarters of WMO is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Currently, WMO has a membership of 193 countries and territories, representing virtually all nations across the globe. The membership reflects the global recognition of the importance of international cooperation in meteorology, climate, and hydrology.
Governance Structure:

The governance structure of WMO comprises several key bodies responsible for policy-making, decision-making, and the day-to-day operations of the organization:

World Meteorological Congress:

  • The World Meteorological Congress is the supreme body of WMO.
  • It convenes at least every four years and brings together representatives from all member countries.
  • The Congress establishes general policies, adopts regulations, and provides strategic guidance to WMO.

Executive Council:

  • The Executive Council consists of 37 members, including the President and Vice-Presidents.
  • It meets annually to implement policies and decisions made by the World Meteorological Congress.
  • The Executive Council oversees the day-to-day operations and management of WMO.

Technical Commissions and Regional Associations:

  • WMO operates through a network of technical commissions and regional associations.
  • Technical commissions focus on specific areas of meteorology, hydrology, and related disciplines.
  • Regional associations facilitate regional cooperation and the exchange of meteorological and hydrological information.

Secretariat:

  • The Secretariat, headed by the Secretary-General, is responsible for the coordination and administration of WMO activities.
  • It supports the implementation of policies and decisions made by the World Meteorological Congress and Executive Council.
  • The Secretariat serves as the central hub for data exchange, research coordination, and capacity building initiatives.

-Source: Indian Express


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