In a report released at a climate summit in Spain on Tuesday, weather experts said the past decade is almost certain to be the hottest on record painting a bleak picture of vanishing sea ice, devastating heatwaves and encroaching seas.
An annual assessment of the Earth's climate by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) underscored the stakes at two weeks of talks aimed at shoring up the 2015 Paris Agreement to avert catastrophic global warming.
Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the Geneva-based organization, said in a statement: "Heatwaves and floods which used to be 'once-in-a-century' events are becoming more regular occurrences.
Countries ranging from the Bahamas to Japan to Mozambique suffered the effect of devastating tropical cyclones. Wildfires swept through the Arctic and Australia."
The report also noted that surges in sea temperatures known as "marine heatwaves" that devastate underwater life had become more common.
The report said the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere hit a record level of 407.8 parts per million in 2018 and continued to rise in 2019.
Opening the climate summit on Monday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that 400 parts per million had once been considered an “unthinkable" tipping point.