The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) a UN organisation has released figures that show that the carbon emissions release rate has reached 'unprecedented levels', with human activity pumping out carbon 10 times faster than at any point in the last 66m years.
With the release of its Status of the Climate Report the WMO detail a list of climate records that were broken in 2015, including; global temperature records, exceptional rainfall, devastating droughts, unusual cyclone activity and intense heatwaves.
“The year 2015 will stand out in the historical record of the global climate in many ways,” said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas in the report.
“The future is happening now,” he said in a statement released alongside the report. “The alarming rate of change we are now witnessing in our climate as a result of greenhouse gas emission is unprecedented in modern records.”
“Our planet is sending a powerful message to world leaders to sign and implement the Paris agreement on climate change and cut greenhouse gases now before we pass the point of no return”
Global land and ocean temperatures are significantly higher in 2015. The report shows surface temperatures sitting 0.76C above the 1961-90 average. This is backed up by Nasa data from this year, which shows the average global surface temperature in February 2016 was 1.35C warmer than the average temperature for the month between 1951-1980, a far bigger margin than ever seen before. The previous record, set just one month earlier in January, was 1.15C above the long-term average for that month.
“In studying one of the most dramatic episodes of global change since the end of the age of the dinosaurs, these scientists show that we are currently in uncharted territory in the rate carbon is being released into the atmosphere and oceans,” said Candace Major, from the US National Science Foundation, which funded the WMO research.
The new research is published in the journal Nature Geoscience