Added by James Morley on December 4, 2010
This year provides yet another indication of man-made global warming; being one of the three warmest years on record since 1850, says the United Nations.
So far, 2010 has been warmer than both 1998 and 2005 – the previous warmest years – but it remains to see how cold December turns out to be.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that 2010 land and sea surface temperatures so far have been 0.55°C above the 1961-1990 average of 14°C. Overall, 2000-2010 has been the warmest 10-year period on record.
Michel Jarraud, head of the WMO, said “The trend is of very significant warming,” and he added “There is a significant possibility that 2010 could be the warmest year.”
Speaking at a news conference in Cancun, he said the findings should be used to guide negotiators at the current climate summit, as he argued that the data is indeed new evidence that greenhouse gases released by burning fossil fuels is causing a warmer climate. “If nothing is done … (temperatures) will go up and up,” he concluded.
Global temperatures have already risen by 0.8°C since before the industrial revolution. Warming has, according to the WMO, been most noticeable in Africa, some parts of Asia and the Arctic. Pakistan, for instance, recorded a temperature of 53.5°C, the highest in Asia since 1942.