2015 breaks weather records
Provisional figures indicate that last year was the warmest since records started in 1850, according to scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia's climatic research unit.
The organisations, which used the HadCRUT4 dataset, revealed that, compared with the pre-industrial period, the 2015 average global temperature was around 1ºC above the long-term average from 1850 to 1900. Separate datasets from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Nasa, which go back to 1880, confirmed that last year was the warmest recorded.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said 15 of the 16 hottest years on record have all been this century, and that 2011–15 was the warmest five-year period.
‘An exceptionally strong El Niño and global warming caused by greenhouse gases joined forces with dramatic effect on the climate system in 2015,’ said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas. ‘The power of El Niño will fade in the coming months but the impacts of human-induced climate change will be with us for many decades.’
The UK government has been “too city-focused” in its climate action and must provide more funding and support to reduce emissions in rural areas, the County Councils Network (CCN) has said.
In 2021, the World Economic Forum identified extreme weather, climate action failure and human-led environmental damage as being among the most likely risks of the next 10 years.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
The UK's largest defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have received a letter from the Make My Money Matter campaign urging them to set net-zero emission targets ahead of the COP26 climate summit later this year.