State of the climate in South-West Pacific 2020

Sea surface temperatures and ocean heat in parts of the South-West Pacific are increasing at more than three times the global average rate, with marine heatwaves bleaching once vibrant coral reefs and threatening vital ecosystems upon which the region depends. On land, storms and floods routinely trigger death, destruction and displacement in South East Asia and Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) whilst extreme heat and a more intense fire season are expected to become a feature of Australia’s climate. Tropical glaciers – the last remaining ones between the Himalayas and the Andes - may disappear within five years, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The State of the Climate in the South-West Pacific 2020 provides a snapshot of climate indicators like temperatures, sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification and extreme weather, alongside risks and impacts on economies, society and the environment. It covers much of South East Asia (including Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore) and Oceania (including Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands. It is one of a new series of regional climate reports by WMO and the first of its kind for the region.

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