WMO: 2010 ‘at least top 3’ hottest years ever

We were expecting news along similar lines from NASA later this month, but today, during the UN climate conference in Cancún, the World Meteorological Organisation [see special COP16 WMO page] decided to recognize the social relevance of timely sharing climatic data.

With only the month of December to go this year will at least rank among the three hottest years in recorded history, being 1998, 2005 and 2010. So far, according to measurements by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2010 is the hottest. Only a below average global temperature for December can prevent the new temperature record.

Recorded warming was especially high in Africa, parts of Asia and the Arctic region. WMO will release definitive data in January 2011.

Climate record context

According to NASA’s well-respected range, 2005 was the hottest year so far – and 1998 second. Other (satellite/ground) datasets favour 1998 as the hottest year so far. The last decade was by far hotter than any measured decade before. Other exceptionally hot years were 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007. Most notable melting records for the Arctic fell in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010 (minus 32 percent in September – and a November melting record) placing third. This year also brought an all time melting record for the Greenland icecap and an all-time coral bleaching record.

That’s right. You can count on your favourite new source of news on science and sustainabiliy. We’ll keep you updated.

© Rolf Schuttenhelm | www.bitsofscience.org

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