The planet’s dramatic temperature rise in the 21st Century

The WMO says droughts affect more people than any other kind of natural disaster because of their large scale and long duration. The decade saw droughts across the world, with some of the longest and most severe in Australia (2002 and other years), East Africa (2004 and 2005, resulting in widespread loss of life) and the Amazon basin (2010)

Clear upward trend’ in global temperatures: WMO  ABC News, ALEX KIRBY, 5 July 13,  In the first decade of this century extreme weather, global temperatures and sea level all continued a trend in a “clearly upward direction”, says a new report from the World Meteorological Organisation. 

If you think the world is warming and the weather getting nastier, you’re right, according to the United Nations agency committed to understanding weather and climate.

The World Meteorological Organisation says the planet “experienced unprecedented high-impact climate extremes” in the ten years from 2001 to 2010, the warmest decade since the start of modern measurements in 1850.

Those ten years also continued an extended period of accelerating global warming, with more national temperature records reported broken than in any previous decade. Sea levels rose about twice as fast as the trend in the last century.

A WMO report, The Global Climate 2001-2010: A Decade of Climate Extremes, analyses global and regional temperatures and precipitation, and extreme weather such as the heat waves in Europe and Russia, Hurricane Katrina in the US, tropical cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, droughts in the Amazon basin, Australia and East Africa, and floods in Pakistan.

It says the decade was the warmest for both hemispheres, and for both land and ocean surface temperatures. There was a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice and accelerating loss of net mass from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and from the world’s glaciers.

This melting and the thermal expansion of sea water caused global mean sea levels to rise about three millimetres annually, about double the observed 20th century trend of 1.6 mm per year. Global sea level averaged over the decade was about 20 cm higher than in 1880, the report says.

Global-average atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide rose to 389 parts per million in 2010, 39 per cent higher than at the start of the industrial era in 1750. Methane rose to 1,808.0 parts per billion (158 per cent) and nitrous oxide to 323.2 ppb (20 per cent).

The WMO secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, said: “A decade is the minimum possible timeframe for meaningful assessments of climate change.

Clear upward trend

“WMO’s report shows that global warming accelerated in the four decades of 1971 to 2010 and that the decadal rate of increase between 1991-2000 and 2001-2010 was unprecedented.”

He added: “Rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are changing our climate, with far-reaching implications for our environment and our oceans, which are absorbing both carbon dioxide and heat.”

His reference to the oceans’ role as a sink for CO2 and heat is significant in the present debate about the apparent slight slow-down in the pace of atmospheric warming and the likelihood that the heat is going into the oceans instead…….

The WMO says droughts affect more people than any other kind of natural disaster because of their large scale and long duration. The decade saw droughts across the world, with some of the longest and most severe in Australia (2002 and other years), East Africa (2004 and 2005, resulting in widespread loss of life) and the Amazon basin (2010)…….http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2013/07/04/3796064.htm

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