"Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal."
A massive column of smoke rises from wildfires burning in Victoria, Australia. (Dale Appleton/DELWP)
Firefighters struggle against bushfires fuelled by strong wind in New South Wales, Australia. (Saeed Khan/AFP)
2019 was the year the world burned...
Climate change is not solely responsible for extreme weather events, but it fuels more frequent and intense episodes. Hottier, drier climates cause water to evaporate quicker, creating drought-like conditions. In 2019, these conditions exacerbated massive wildfires and sparked heatwaves.
Australia is still recovering from its most destructive bushfires in decades (pictured). The Arctic suffered its worst wildfire season, burning at an unprecedented scale. In summer, Europe was seared by record-breaking temperatures and heatwaves.
Hurricane Dorian's waters engulf cars in Freeport, Bahamas. (Ramón Espinosa/AP)
An aerial shot of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian. Dorian claimed at least 70 lives and amounted to US$3.4 billion in damages. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
... and drowned.
Climatic impacts on extreme weather events do not stop there. A greater rate of evaporation means that more moisture remains in the atmosphere. When that uncommonly large amount of moisture is released as heavy rainfall, it raises the risk of floods.
Warmer waters also strengthen
hurricanes. Hurricane Dorian (pictured), which devastated the Bahamas, was intensified by ocean waters well above average temperatures.
These catastrophic events are happening in a world only warmed by 1⁰C.
The Carbon Clock
The Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change's (MCC) Carbon Clock has been developed in line with the IPCC's 2018 Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.
The Carbon Clock shows how much carbon dioxide can be released into the atmosphere to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C and 2°C.