Environment News Update : ‘Colder February doesn’t negate climate change’

Insight Online News

Geneva, March 10 : The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that although February 2021 has been colder than the average of the same months in the last two decades, “none of that negated climate change or reversed the long-term rise in temperatures”.

February 2021 was “much colder” than its average since 1991, especially in the northern hemisphere in countries such as Russia and the US, Xinhua news agency quoted the WMO as saying in a statement on Tuesday.

In the US, temperatures for February were lowest since 1989 as Texas was particularly affected by cold waves, with Dallas city having a record-low temperature of minus 19 degrees Celsius.

However, Clare Nullis, spokesperson of the WMO, warned at a press conference on Tuesday that what happened in February could be an exception rather than the norm.

“Cold records, cold waves are becoming rarer,” she said, adding that “heat waves, heat records are becoming much more frequent”.

The Geneva-based organization also warned that temperatures in the Arctic and the rest of the world were “much warmer than average” for February 2021.

According to the WMO, colder temperatures at the beginning of 2021 could be attributed to the “weakening of the polar vortex”, an atmospheric phenomenon that saw an area of cold air generally trapped in the poles be released into mid-latitudes, while warmer air entered the Arctic.

The WMO expects climate change to continue despite “mixed patterns” for early 2021.

Compared to the pre-industrial era, the year 2020 is believed to be 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer, said the Organization.

On January 15, the WMO declared 2020 as “one of the three warmest (years) on record”.


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