2018: A year when climate change hit closer to home

Warnings of the disastrous effects of climate change not just dominated scientific discourse but also hit uncomfortably close to home this year with consequences such as extreme weather events, floods and wild fires seen across the world.

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg caught the world's attention this month at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, with a fiery speech shaming global leaders for being "too immature" to confront the truth of climate change.

"You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake," she said in her speech.

The 15-year-old's passionate plea to save the planet for the sake of future generations was an apt climax to a year peppered with research reports warning that inaction is turning the only known planet with life into a "hothouse".

A report, released ahead of COP24, showed global emissions have reached historic levels with no signs of peaking.

The report estimated that mitigation efforts need to be tripled to meet the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rise this century to well below two degrees Celsius.

Researchers assessed that only 57 countries are on track to do so by 2030.

Despite global scientific consensus on the topic, numerous advocacy groups, conspiracy theorists and oil company lobbyists continued to deny climate change, significantly hampering efforts to reduce global emissions.

(with news agency inputs)