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Climate change:Global impacts accelerating

Record greenhouse gas levels are driving temperatures to "increasingly dangerous levels", it says.

Their report comes in the same week as the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported a surge in CO2 in 2018.

However, new data from the UK suggests Britain is bucking the trend with emissions down by 3%.

"We know that if the current trajectory for greenhouse gas concentrations continues, temperatures may increase by 3 - 5 degrees C compared to pre-industrial levels by the end of the century and we have already reached 1 degree."

While some of these figures were published in a preliminary release of the study from last November, the full version has data on many key climate indicators, that the WMO says break new ground.

One example is ocean heat content. More than 90% of the energy trapped by greenhouse gases goes into the seas and according to the WMO, 2018 saw new records set for the amount of ocean heat content found in the upper 700 metres of the seas, and also for the upper 2,000 metres.

Sea levels also continued to increase with global mean sea level rising 3.7mm higher in 2018 than the previous year.

"This report highlights the increase in the rate of sea-level rise, and this is a real concern for those living in low-lying coastal areas, for both developed and developing countries," said Dr Sally Brown, a research fellow at the University of Southampton.

"We know that sea-level rise is a global problem that will not go away, and efforts need to be made to help those who are really vulnerable to adapt to sea-level rise or move to safer areas."

The UK government has also released emissions data about greenhouse gas emissions over the past year. The figures show that emissions across the UK have fallen by 3% over the last year, the equivalent the government says, of taking 5 million cars off the road.

Factors driving UK emissions down include the fact that coal was the source of just 5% of electricity in 2018.

The government now says that carbon emissions are at their lowest level since before the turn of the 20th century, when Queen Victoria was on the throne.