Global surface temperatures have been rising at a faster rate since 1970, said a report, with the pace of human-caused warming rising from 0.8 C in the second half of the 19th century to 1.3 C in the 2010s.
According to the 2023 synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures rose 1.1 C in 2011-2020 compared to 1850-1900.
It said human-induced climate change triggered meteorological and climate extremes such as heat waves, heavy rainfall, droughts, and tropical cyclones.
Impacts on ecosystems unleashed by these changes, such as the hydrological effects of melting of glaciers and thawing permafrost in some mountain and arctic ecosystems, are becoming irreversible, the report warned.
It said nearly 50% of coastal and wetlands ecosystems have been destroyed in the past 100 years as a result of rising sea levels, rising temperatures, and extreme climate events.
Climate change was also reported to be accelerating desertification and soil degradation, especially in coastal areas, river deltas, drylands, and permafrost areas.
Though average agricultural production has increased, climate change has slowed growth in output globally over the past 50 years, causing millions of people to experience food insecurity and reduced water security.
In cities, the report said, climate change is causing adverse effects on human health, livelihoods, and basic infrastructure, with warming causing an increase in air pollution.
Climate change causes economic losses and disrupts services, especially in urban infrastructure, transportation, water, sanitation and energy systems, the report said.
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Global warming to continue increasing in near future
The report predicts that global warming will continue to increase in the near future by all scenarios and models used in the study.
On the other hand, governments are paying more attention to climate change, with the effects of international agreements and heightened national aspirations on climate action.
Future warming will be driven by emissions and affect all major climate system components, the report said.
In addition, most climate risks are thought to be graver than previously estimated, and the long-term effects may be many times greater than they are now.
The report said combating climate change and global warming will require effective planning, political commitment, well-organized and multi-layered governance, and institutional legal, policy, and strategy frameworks.
It added that clear objectives, adequate finance and instruments, coordination with various policy areas, and inclusive management processes are needed.