A young girl walks through flood waters near Beira, Mozambique. Much of the city is below sea level on one of the world's most vulnerable coastlines. Photo / Themba Hadebe

Grim global climate report: Drought, rising seas, millions displaced

A global review has painted a dramatic and dismal picture of our planet under climate change, as record carbon dioxide levels soar toward increasingly dangerous levels.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) today issued its State of the Global Climate in 2018 report - a sprawling stocktake pulling together data from hundreds of scientists and agencies across the globe.

One leading New Zealand scientist said it revealed a "now-familiar litany" of all the ways the climate was warming and changing around us.

Ocean heat content and sea levels were also both at record highs, sea ice extent was well below normal in both hemispheres, and glaciers and ice sheets were melting, Victoria University's Professor James Renwick said.

The statement, the WMO's 25th, particularly highlighted "exceptionally high" land temperatures over the past four years – a trend that had lasted since the start of this century and was expected to continue.

Carbon dioxide levels, which were at 357.0 parts per million (ppm) when the statement was first published in 1993, had kept rising – to 405.5 ppm in 2017.

For 2018 and 2019, greenhouse gas concentrations were expected to increase further.

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