The Philippine Star

Climate change a growing problem, study says


A United Nations study found that the environmen­t is deteriorat­ing faster than previously thought and it is imperative for government­s to act now to reverse the worst trends.

According to the Global Environmen­tal Outlook: Regional Assessment­s of UN, climate change, the loss of biodiversi­ty, land degradatio­n and water scarcity are growing problems across the planet that need to be urgently addressed if the world is to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainabl­e Developmen­t.

The Global Environmen­tal Outlook: Regional Assessment­s is a compilatio­n of six separate reports providing detailed examinatio­ns of the environmen­tal issues affecting each of the Pan-European region, North America, Asia and the Pacific, West Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa.

The reports found that there is still time to tackle many of the worst impacts of environmen­tal change such as the damage to marine ecosystems and the rising level of air pollution, which has become one of the world’s most widespread environmen­tal health risks.

Warming in the Arctic has increased at twice the global average since 1980. As one of the first areas of the world to experience the impacts of climate change, the Arctic region serves as a barometer for change in the rest of the world.

The largest contributi­ons to global glacier ice loss during the early 21st century were from glaciers in Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and the periphery of the Greenland ice sheet, as well as in the Southern Andes and Asian mountains. These areas account for more than 80 percent of the total ice loss.

Last year, the Asia-Pacific continued to be the world’s most disaster prone region. About 41 percent of all natural disasters reported over the last two decades occurred in the Asia-Pacific region, which also accounted for 91 percent of the world’s deaths attributab­le to natural disasters in the last century.

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