Published on 24 March 2020
The report brings together the latest science on climate change indicators such as temperature, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the oceans.
“Sea levels are rising at an increasing pace, through greater warming of the oceans, on the surface and in the depths, and through the enhanced melting of Greenland’s ice and of glaciers, exposing coastal areas and islands to a greater risk of flooding and the submersion of low-lying areas,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas says in the report.
In fact, the report found that, in 2019, the global mean sea level was the highest since the high-precision satellite altimetry data record began:
WMO Statement on the State of the Climate 2019, p5.
The high-precision altimetry record began with the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite mission, a joint French/American mission that has been maintained ever since through the Jason-1, -2 and -3 missions and, soon, Sentinel-6, with more space agencies contributing to their development and operations.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on governments, civil society and individuals to work together to address what he called “the defining challenge of our time”.