global climate change

Climate change: 2016 was the warmest year on record and human activities were to blame, says WMO

The World Meteorological Organisation, in its annual report, said the extremes will continue into 2017.

The World Meteorological Organisation on Tuesday said that the earth was hotter in 2016 than it ever has been before and that it has become “more and more evident” that human activities are influencing climate change. In its annual statement on the State of the Global Climate, the WMO said that 2016 was marked with “a record global temperature, exceptionally low sea ice, and unabated sea level rise and ocean heat”. The extremes will continue into 2017, and the world was moving into “truly unchartered territory”, the report said.

The statement was based on data from leading climate analysis centres around the world. The WMO also teamed up with the UN for the first time to include information on the social and economic impacts of climate change. Temperatures in 2016 were “ a remarkable 1.1 °C above the pre-industrial period”, WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said.

The range of studies cited in the report “demonstrate clearly the existence of links between man-made climate change and many cases of high impact extreme events in particular heatwaves”. Since 2001, every year has recorded temperatures at least 0.4 °C above the average for 1961-1990, the report said. Other than Greenhouse gas emissions, the El Niño phenomenon also caused global sea levels to rise significantly.

The report will be presented to the member states of the United Nations and at a major climate change event scheduled for New York on March 23 titled “Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda”. March 23 is World Meteorological Day.

Climate scientists expressed concern after reading the reports, calling for immediate action. “Earth is a planet in upheaval due to human-caused changes in the atmosphere,” Jeffrey Kargel, a glaciologist at the University of Arizona told The Guardian. Dr Phil Williamson, an associate fellow at the University of East Anglia told The Independent, “The WMO’s statement on the 2016 climate leaves no room for doubt [that climate change is linked to human activities]…Those who dispute that link are not sceptics, but anti-science deniers.”

The Donald Trump administration in the United States has been denying that humans have anything to do with climate change, consistent with the long-time stance of the Republican party, which believes worldwide calls to cut emissions are propaganda against business interests. Among Trump’s campaign planks was pulling the US out of the 2016 Paris Agreement, in which countries all over the world vowed to adopt measures to limit climate change.

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Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.