Effects of climate change in 2018

Juan G. R., Juan G. R., and Juan P. J. Effects of climate change in 2018

 Water and Irrigation Vol. 10, No. 1: 1-3, 7 February 2019, Spain.

 The effects of climate change in 2018 have gradually intensified through heat and cold waves, forest fires, floods, droughts, hurricanes and cyclones, so it is estimated that by 2040 there will be an increase in problems such as food shortages, forest fires, population displacement, floods and droughts in different countries with the risk of causing increasing losses in material and human goods and to slow down economic growth. During this century greenhouse gas concentrations have reached high levels and if the current trend continues, it is possible that temperature increases of 3 to 5 ° C will occur by the end of the century; we must put our effort and the collective effort to reach the proposed goals and protect humanity and planet Earth.

China is the country that produces more global carbon emissions with 27% of the total, followed by USA with 15% of the total, the European Union with 10%, and India with 7%. Greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are increasing at an accelerated rate, warn researchers, the world is on track to face some of the most serious consequences of climate change sooner than expected, the United Nations warns that emissions of gases are increasing in a proportion that will increase problems such as food shortages, forest fires, coastal flooding and population displacement by 2040. The use of renewable energies such as solar and wind have expanded exponentially and has not been enough to compensate for the increase in the use of fossil fuels.

Global carbon emissions in 2018 exceed 37 gigatons that increase the temperature of the planet, it is expected that carbon emissions increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, according to scientific studies conducted. China’s emissions will increase 4.7 percent despite the Chinese authorities investing heavily in renewable energy, but it is also building new coal-fired power plants at home. In the United States gas emissions are expected to grow 2.5 percent this year after several years of decline, and despite the change of coal to cleaner sources of energy that was mainly due to a colder winter in some parts of the country and a hotter summer in others, which influenced greater demand for heating and air conditioning.

The White House published that federal agencies predicted that global warming could reduce the US economy by hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, especially trade and agriculture. A new federal report from the United States details how climate change affects the environment, agriculture, energy, water and land resources, transport, health and human well-being, with the risk of causing losses growing in the infrastructure and goods of the United States and to slow down its rate of economic growth during this century.

Effects of climate change in 2018, such as sea level rise, increased oceanic heat, acidification of the oceans, melting of ice in poles and glaciers continue, extreme weather conditions have sown destruction in all continents, as indicated in the WMO  During the first ten months of the year the temperature exceeded approximately 1 ° C to that of the pre-industrial era (1850-1900). We are not well on our way to achieving the objectives of the fight against climate change and limiting the increase in temperature, “said WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas, who also said that concentrations of greenhouse gases have once again reached unprecedented levels and if the current trend is maintained, it is possible that temperature increases of 3 to 5 ° C will occur by the end of the century.

Each fraction of the degree of warming has repercussions on human health, access to food and fresh water, the extinction of animals and plants, the survival of coral reefs and marine life and has an impact on economic productivity, food security and the resilience of our infrastructures and cities. It also affects the melting speed of glaciers and the water supply, as well as the future of low-lying islands and coastal communities, said WMO Deputy Secretary General Elena Manaenkova.

If the increase in global temperature below 2 ° C is contained, the risks to human well-being, ecosystems and sustainable development will be reduced, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Extreme weather events according to WMO information

Tropical storms: the average of tropical cyclones was exceeded in the four basins of the northern hemisphere, with 70 cyclones that caused numerous victims registered to November 20, compared to the long-term average of 53. The Northeast Pacific basin, whose energy Accumulated cyclonicity was the highest since reliable measurements taken by satellites began, has been particularly active. Two of the strongest tropical cyclones were Mangkhut, which affected the Philippines, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and China, and Yutu, which caused havoc in the Mariana Islands. Jebi was the strongest typhoon to hit Japan since 1993, Son-Tinh caused flooding in Vietnam and Laos, while Soulik caused flooding on the Korean peninsula. Hurricanes Florence and Michael were associated with enormous economic damage and human losses in the United States.

Floods: In August, the state of Kerala in southwestern India suffered the worst floods since the 1920s, displacing 1.4 million people from their homes and affecting more than 5.4 million people . Much of western Japan suffered destructive floods in late June and early July that killed at least 230 people and destroyed thousands of homes. In March and April there were floods in many parts of East Africa. Other affected countries include Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and the north and Tanzania. A low pressure system in the Mediterranean Sea caused floods, strong winds and fatalities in October

Heat waves and droughts: large parts of Europe experienced an exceptional heat wave and drought in the late spring and summer of 2018 that caused numerous forest fires in Scandinavia. In July and August unprecedented maximum temperatures were recorded north of the Arctic Circle and temperatures above 25 ° C in Helsinki. In Germany there were periods of days with a heat wave of 30 º C and was associated with fatalities in France, it was exceptionally hot and dry in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the heat wave affected Spain and Portugal at the beginning of August . The eastern part of Australia suffered a severe drought during 2018. At the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, a severe drought affected Uruguay and the north and center of Argentina, which caused great agricultural losses. Japan and the Republic of Korea registered temperatures of 41.0 ° C. In Algeria, a national maximum of 51.3 ° C was registered in July.

Cold and snow wave: one of the most important cold waves in recent years affected Europe at the end of February and the beginning of March.

Forest fires: on July 23 there were forest fires that affected Athens in Greece and caused numerous fatalities. The Canadian province of British Columbia exceeded its record of burnt area of ​​a fire season, California suffered devastating forest fires, being the deadliest November campaign in the United States for more than a century.

Another natural phenomenon that must be considered in 2018 is the Seismic and volcanic activity of the planet, where volcanoes erupted: Kilauea in Hawaii, Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala, Popocatepetl in Mexico, Anak Krakatoa in Indonesia and Etna in Italy. The seismic activity with a magnitude of 6.6 was registered in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, a magnitude of 5.6 to 5.9 were recorded in Chile, Afghanistan and Sumatra, between 1.0 and 5.0 were recorded in a large number of regions on the planet

Climate change and its different effects are reaching the different areas of the planet and are becoming more active every day, which together with the demographic growth of the world population that already reaches 7.8 billion inhabitants and the pollution of the earth, the water and air through the action of human activity make the perspective of economic development, sustainable development and social welfare will be more  difficult to achieve by the end of the century, as we are gradually depleting natural resources, food and not we managed to maintain the global temperature with sustainable values, but if we put our effort and collective commitment we can achieve the proposed goals.

The year 2019 is predicted to be very active, since high temperatures have been recorded in Australia, large forest fires in Tasmania, very high wind speeds, low polar temperatures in Russia and the USA,