2012 set to be ninth warmest year on record, warns WMO

Thursday, November 29, 2012
WMO Secretary General addressing reporters in Geneva
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
Geneva: The last eleven years (2001–2011) were among the top warmest years on record, and the first ten months of 2012 indicate that this year will not be an exception, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned in its annual statement on the world's weather.

The year was characterized by unusual warmth across most of the globe's land areas and a weak-to-moderate La Niña at the beginning of the year.

Overall, the 2012 global land and ocean temperature during January–October 2012 is estimated to be 0.45°C1 ±0.10°C2 (0.81°F ±0.18°F) above the 1961–1990 average. This is the ninth warmest such period since records began in 1850, according to WMO.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud told journalists in Geneva that "the main message is that it confirms the trend to a warmer planet". He said climate change was "taking place before our eyes" and would continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which he said had risen constantly and again reached new records.

Jarraud said the extent of Arctic sea ice had reached a new record low. The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth's oceans and biosphere.

He noted that many regions have faced extremes of droughts, floods and heat waves. The number of cyclones worldwide was around normal but some, such as Hurricane Sandy, which lashed the Caribbean and the United States, were especially devastating. -UNifeed
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