Streaming issues? Report here
CapeTalk logo 2017 1500 x 1500
Best of Talk
01:00 - 04:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: Early Breakfast with Abongile Nzelenzele
See full line-up
Best of Talk
01:00 - 04:00
Home
arrow_forward
World
arrow_forward
Lifestyle

2019 concludes decade of 'exceptional global heat and high-impact weather'

5 December 2019 5:18 PM
Tags:
World Meteorological Organization
climate change
The State of the Global Climate
The World Meteorological Organization says 2019 is set to be second or third warmest year on record.

The year 2019 concludes a decade of exceptional global heat and high-impact weather, says the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in its Provisional Statement on the State of the Global Climate.

It says rising temperatures, retreating ice and record sea levels are driven by greenhouse gases resulting from human activity. Since the 1980s, each successive decade has been warmer than any preceding decade since 1850.

RELATED: 'Climate change has arrived, earlier than we thought'

John Maytham gets the input of Piotr Wolski, a hydro-climatologist at the Climate System Analysis Group at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Wolski says the dire findings of the WMO report are not unexpected.

For 20 or 30 years we've been worrying about this and now we see the impact of climate change from day to day.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT Climate System Analysis Group

We're exceeding records more frequently now and the problem is it's not likely to stop very soon.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT Climate System Analysis Group

He says the "good news" that carbon dioxide emissions are decreasing a little in some countries (the US and certain European countries) is tempered by their replacement with other emissions.

This is when you look at emissions from coal and they are usually replaced by emissions from natural gas and oil so, overall, the emissions are still increasing.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT Climate System Analysis Group

The problem is we are dealing with long-term processes here so even if we stop increasing emissions, if we just stay on the same level, the planet still will be warming in the next decade. We have to wait a good couple of decades before it will start cooling down, if not hundreds of years.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT Climate System Analysis Group

WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas has said the only solution is to get rid of fossil fuels in power production, industry and transportation. Is this even remotely possible?

It's a very depressing thing to discuss because it's very difficult to propose some ways of getting out of this conundrum.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT Climate System Analysis Group

We are in a way addicted to fossil fuels and it's not an easy thing to change.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT Climate System Analysis Group

It requires a different thinking from society, from humans in general... It seems that if we really want to solve this problem we have to change the way we live.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT Climate System Analysis Group

Listen to the sobering conversation in the audio below:


5 December 2019 5:18 PM
Tags:
World Meteorological Organization
climate change
The State of the Global Climate

More from World

scientist-chemicals-hazardous-materials-virus-quarantine-disease-mask-123rf

'I’m anxious. Nobody is messing around. People are staying indoors'

28 January 2020 10:09 AM

“Things are OK if I wear a mask. It’s pretty bad. I’m trying to get a flight,” says Michelle October, a SA teacher in China.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

200127kobejpg

NBA legend Kobe Bryant (41) dies in helicopter crash with daughter (13)

27 January 2020 8:19 AM

Bryant – one of the greatest basketball players ever – was flying in dense fog which grounded the LAPD’s helicopters.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

arizona-dept-public-safetypng

Dead wrong! Driver bust for using carpool lane with fake skeleton as passenger

26 January 2020 3:20 PM

An Arizona man dressed up a fake skeleton in the back seat to fool the traffic cops, but didn't do a very convincing job.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

vanessa-nakate-facebookjpg

Ugandan climate activist accuses media of racism after Davos photo crop

25 January 2020 11:54 AM

WEF youth climate delegate Vanessa Nakate was cropped out of a group pic with her white peers, also featuring Greta Thunberg.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

37bf0912-feaf-45c6-a91d-7d6f973ae058.jpg

Coronavirus: 'SA has all necessary systems in place to identify, isolate cases'

25 January 2020 10:12 AM

The global number of infections from the 'China virus' now tops 1,300. The NICD's Cheryl Cohen details measures to protect SA.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

greta-wefjpg

'World leaders! Stop making Greta dance in the living room for your amusement'

23 January 2020 8:35 AM

Refilwe Moloto weighs in on the way leaders respond to Greta Thunberg's key-note address at the World Economic Forum.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Isabel dos Santos

'Africa’s richest woman stole hundreds of millions of dollars from her country'

21 January 2020 11:49 AM

A trove of 715 000 files prove that Isabel dos Santos syphoned a breathtaking fortune into offshore accounts, says the ICIJ.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

education-africa-girl-child-literacy-school-learning-knowledge-teaching-123rf

'22 richest men have more money than all 600 million African women put together'

21 January 2020 10:59 AM

If Jeff Bezos and Bernard Arnault – the world’s two richest men – sat on their wealth piled up in $100 bills, they’d be in space!

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Malawi.jpg

Famine looming: 45m Southern Africans – an all-time record – need food aid

20 January 2020 9:49 AM

"It’s millions! It’s millions! The next stage… is famine," warns Gerald Bourke, a spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

191028sussexgif

Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles, state funding

19 January 2020 11:44 AM

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer be working members of the British royal family, announces Buckingham Palace.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

More from Lifestyle

f6bfd88d-67b6-448a-9aa6-56170e966520.jpg

'Hlophe allegations form part of prevailing abusive climate in W Cape judiciary'

28 January 2020 10:01 AM

FUL's Nicole Fritz says Goliath's claims add to a decade-old improper conduct complaint against Judge Hlophe by ConCourt judges.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

aeroplane-airplane-clouds-115491jpg

Would you fly in a pilotless airplane?

28 January 2020 7:15 AM

Aircraft expert Linden Birns says humans still have a psychological block despite available technology.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Veggie burger Sunshine Food Co

Cape Town’s 'best veggie burger' probably (arguably, of course) the finest in SA

27 January 2020 12:29 PM

Elisha Madzivadondo (“vegan since before he ever heard the word”) arguably makes the best veggie burger in South Africa.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

girlchild-daughter-parents-shout-argue-fight-family-trauma-domestic-dispute123rf

Divorce: tips and tricks to get your fair share

27 January 2020 10:25 AM

Tips (never get married in community of property) and tricks (Want nothing? Put in R1 per year for spousal support anyway.).

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

arizona-dept-public-safetypng

Dead wrong! Driver bust for using carpool lane with fake skeleton as passenger

26 January 2020 3:20 PM

An Arizona man dressed up a fake skeleton in the back seat to fool the traffic cops, but didn't do a very convincing job.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

nobuhle-mazinyane-soundcloudcomjpg

[LISTEN] Meet talented jazz pianist and composer, Nobuhle Mazinyane

26 January 2020 12:48 PM

Mazinyane's taking a year off from her UCT music studies to focus on performing. 'Ashanti Tribe' plays Selective Live on Sunday.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

feed-kakapo-project-noordhoeked-facebookjpg

Wire whale trash-eater could be rolled out on more Cape beaches

23 January 2020 3:54 PM

Environmental activist Karoline Hanks reports back on the success of the Kakapo Project in Noordhoek and her other initiatives.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Vitality Air

People are buying tinned air for R330 per can. We’re not kidding

23 January 2020 2:32 PM

Vitality Air (from Canada) bottles air in the Swiss Alps then sells it for $23 a can. It’s like The Lorax (Dr Seuss), but real.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

brooks-and-maya-spector-facebookjpg

I'm lucky to have parents who always supported my creativity - Maya Spector

23 January 2020 1:14 PM

The Cape Town musician and her US foreign policy expert father Brooks Spector join Kieno Kammies in studio.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Mahindra KUV100

Cheapest new car in South Africa: 'Well-built and a lot of car for the price'

23 January 2020 11:55 AM

The Mahindra KUV100 is the most affordable new car in South Africa. Motoring journalist Ciro de Siena took it for a drive.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward