Cancun, Mexico (AFP) Dec 2, 2010
The year 2010 will be one of the warmest ever, climaxing a record-breaking decade, the UN's World Meteorological Organization said at global climate talks Thursday.
"2010 is almost certain to be in the top three warmest years on record," WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud told a press conference. "It is probably the warmest one up to October-November."
He added: "The decade from 2001 to 2010 has set a new record, it will be the warmest decade ever since we have records."
The snapshot was published on the fourth day of the 12-day talks in Cancun under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Jarraud said he hoped the provisional assessment -- a consensus of temperature data from four meteorological institutions -- would guide policymakers negotiating a post-2012 pact on global warming.
"This is the (scientific) foundation to say where we are now, these are the facts," he said. "Of course, if nothing is done, this curve will go on increasing and increasing, it will go up and up."
Only two other years, 1998 and 2005, have been warmer since records began, and only marginally so, said Jarraud. Reliable statistical records for world weather date from 1850.
The benchmark for warming is 14 degrees Celsius (57.2 degrees Fahrenheit), comprising the global combined surface temperatures of the air and sea from 1961-1990.
In 1998, temperatures were 0.53 C (0.95 F) above that level, and 2005 exceeded it by 0.52 C (0.93 F). For January-October 2010, there was a rise of 0.55 C (0.99 F), with a margin of error of plur or minus 0.11 C (0.17 F), although there are still two more months of monitoring left.
The final figures for 2010 will be issued next February.
In the decade from 2001 to 2010, global temperatures have averaged 0.46 C (0.82 F) above the 1960-1990 yardstick.
Jarraud said these measurements were a further indicator that global warming was on the march.
The figures do not by themselves pin the cause on man-made greenhouse gases, although this is confirmed separately by other research into concentrations of carbon emissions in the atmosphere, he said.
"It's an additional element to confirm that there is indeed warming... the man-made (causes) you can deduct from other curves, such as greenhouse-gases," said Jarraud.
The report swung a spotlight on a wide range of extreme weather events in 2010, including an unprecedented heatwave in Russia, in which around 11,000 people died.
This phenomenon was linked to extreme moonsoon rainfall in Pakistan that affected millions of people, it said.
Other places that experienced extremely high temperatures were most of Canada and Greenland, the northern half of Africa and South Asia and the western part of China, where Yunnan and Guizhou provinces both had their lowest rainfalls on record.
In some of these heat-hit regions, annual mean temperatures were 3 C (5.4 F) or more above the norm.
Parts of the Amazon basin were badly affected by drought in the later part of 2010, according to the WMO. The Rio Negro, a major tributary to the Amazon, plunged to its lowest level on record.
In many parts of the mid-latitude northern hemisphere, though, the winter was abnormally cold. Ireland and Scotland experienced their coldest winter since 1962-1963, and many other parts of northern and central Europe saw their coldest winter since the 1980s or 1970s.
Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones are on course to have the least active year since 1979.
Only 65 tropical storms have been observed since the start of the year, and only 35 have reached hurricane-force intensity, compared with the long-term average of 85 and 44 respectively.
Arctic sea ice in the summer of 2010, meanwhile, reached the third lowest extent recorded.
"We are extremely concerned... (this) is certainly a measure of global warming," said Jarraud.
The campaign group Oxfam said the findings confirmed the need for a "climate fund" to help people exposed to shifting weather patterns.
"The climate is changing," Oxfam New Zealan's executive director, Barry Coates, said. "This is making it harder for people to survive. In the first nine months of this year, 21,000 people died due to weather-related disasters -- more than twice the number for the whole of 2009."
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation
Record-High Greenhouse Gas Concentrations
Geneva, Switzerland (SPX) Dec 02, 2010
The increase in carbon dioxide concentrations is also seen in the measurements made by the Finnish Meteorological Institute at the Pallas station, where the annual increase has been 2.0 ppm. The increase continued last year, too. These measurements also reflect the impact of seasonal variation: forests act as effective carbon sinks during the growing season, whereas in the autumn and winte ... read more
NASA Sets Coverage For COTS 1 Launch|
Hylas-1 In Orbit Brings Europe Broadband From Space
Ariane rocket puts telecom satellites into orbit
45th Space Wing Launches NRO Satellite
Opportunity Making Progress To Endeavour Crater
Spain Supplies Weather Station For Next Mars Rover
IceBite Blog: Remote Control
Hopping Rovers For The Red Planet
Neptec Wins Canadian Space Agency Contract To Develop A New Generation Of Lunar Rovers
Mission to far side of moon proposed
Mining On The Moon Is A Not-So-Distant Possibility
A Softer Landing on the Moon
Kuiper Belt Of Many Colors
Reaching The Mid-Mission Milestone On The Way To Pluto
New Horizons Student Dust Counter Instrument Breaks Distance Record
Nitrogen Methane Dominate Icy Surface Of Eris
500th 'extrasolar' planet discovered
Planet From Another Galaxy Discovered
First glimpse of a planet from another galaxy
Eartly Dust Tails Point To Alien Worlds
Emirates, Bahrain seek U.S. rocket systems
Russia To Start Work On Nuclear Space Engine Next Year
Aerojet's High-Power Hall System Propels USAF AEHF Satellite
Masten Space Systems And Space Florida Sign Letter Of Intent
Optis Software To Optimize Chinese Satellite Design
China puts satellite in orbit
Condition Of China's Lunar Probe To Determine Future Application
Tasks For Tiangong
NASA Spacecraft Burns For Another Comet Flyby
Comet Snowstorm Engulfs Hartley 2
Japan confirms space probe brought home asteroid dust
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|