Wednesday, September 20, 2017

UN Secretary General Links Hurricane Devastation to Climate Change

António Guterres and other leaders called for renewed efforts to cut carbon pollution as the Caribbean faces yet another devastating storm.

Hurricanes Katia, Irma and José (from left to right) were all active in the Caribbean on 8 September (Credit:  US Navy) Click to Enlarge.
The catastrophic Atlantic hurricane season has been made worse by climate change, UN secretary general António Guterres said on Monday.

Guterres was joined at the UN general assembly in New York by a chorus of international ministers at a high-level meeting on Hurricane Irma, hastily called last week in response to the devastating storm that levelled several Caribbean islands in the last fortnight.

Guterres said cutting carbon emissions “must clearly be part of our response” to the disaster. “The rise in the surface temperature of the ocean has had an impact on weather patterns and we must do everything possible to bring it down.”

“This year’s hurricane season is already the most violent on record and it will continue until November,” Guterres said.  “The season fits a pattern.  Changes to our climate are making extreme weather events more severe and frequent, pushing communities in to a vicious cycle of shock and recovery.  Extreme weather linked to climate change has an impact all over the world, including floods in southern Asia and landslides and drought in Africa.”

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