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The last African glaciers will disappear by 2040, according to the UN

Temperatures are rising in Africa faster than the world average.

Climate change puts Africa in a situation of “disproportionate vulnerability” due to the disasters that will leave the rise in temperatures (above the global average), in addition to melting the last African glaciers by 2040, warns the meteorological agency of the ONU.

“During 2020, the climatic indicators in Africa were characterized by a continuous warming of temperatures, the acceleration of the rise in sea level and by extreme climatic and meteorological events,” said the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today. , Petteri Taalas, at the presentation of the report “State of the climate in Africa 2020”.

Although Africa only contributes 4% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, the study’s conclusions indicate that the region already suffers the impact of climate change above the global average in many areas, such as rising temperatures and rising sea levels.

According to the report, presented at an Extraordinary World Meteorological Congress ahead of the next United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), the impact of climate-related disasters also grows, consequently, in the form of floods, landslides and droughts.

The WMO also warned that the last mountains still covered by glaciers on the continent – the massif of Mount Kenya (Kenya), the Rwenzori Mountains (Uganda) and Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) – will see their ice disappear by 2040.

“The rapid shrinking of the last remaining glaciers in East Africa, which are expected to melt completely in the near future, signals the threat of an imminent and irreversible change in the Earth system,” Taalas said, according to a statement from the organization.

Temperatures are generally rising in Africa faster than the world average, and 2020 was placed between the third and eighth years (depending on the databases used, the report indicates) warmer than in any historical record. for the continent.

The effects of climate change in the region could lead to a 3% contraction in gross domestic product by 2050, according to the WMO, if the appropriate measures are not taken.

In addition, climate disasters affect more and more people, leading to more poverty, greater food insecurity and more forced displacement.

“By 2030, it is estimated that up to 118 million people in extreme poverty (that is, living on less than 1.9 dollars a day) will be exposed to droughts, floods and extreme heat in Africa,” he warned. , Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, a body that also collaborated in the study.

Adaptation of sub-Saharan Africa to climate change will cost between $ 30-50 billion a year over the next decade, but the effects of not taking action, according to WMO, will be even greater in terms of disaster relief. (I)

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