The World Meteorological Organisation has warned that the physical signs and socio-economic impacts of climate change are accelerating.

In a new report on the state of the Global Climate in 2018 it says record greenhouse gas concentrations are driving global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels.

Taken together the last four years were the four warmest years on record.

The report highlights a record sea level rise, as well as exceptionally high land and ocean temperatures over the past four years.

And the WMO said these warming trends are expected to continue.

Secretary-General of the WMO Petteri Taalas said extreme weather has continued into 2019 and that the recent tropical storm Idai which resulted in devastating floods and tragic loss of life in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi may turn out to be one of the deadliest weather-related disasters ever to hit the southern hemisphere.

The start of this year has also seen warm record daily winter temperatures in Europe, unusual cold in North America and searing heatwaves in Australia.

In addition Arctic and Antarctic ice extent is yet again well below average.

Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres said the report gives great cause for concern and that there is no longer any time for delay in taking climate action.

According to the report, most of the natural hazards which affected nearly 62 million people worldwide last year were associated with extreme weather and climate events.

Floods continued to affect the largest number of people, with more than 35 million affected.

In addition more than 1,600 deaths were associated with intense heatwaves and wildfires in Europe, Japan and the US, while the Indian state of Kerala suffered its heaviest rainfall and worst flooding in nearly a century.

Climate action report secures cross-party support

The report also highlights that over two million people were displaced due to disasters linked to weather and climate events such as drought, floods and storms during the first nine months of last year.

Last year also saw new records for ocean heat as well as acceleration in the rate of sea level rise.

The report says that on average sea levels globally have risen by an average of almost eight centimetres since 1993.

The WMO says that increasing ice mass loss from the ice sheets is causing the rise in sea levels.

It also pointed out that the Greenland ice sheet has been losing ice mass nearly every year for the past two decades.