Past decade ties for world's hottest: UN agency

Nov 29, 2011 by Marlowe Hood
Thirteen of the warmest years recorded have occurred within the last decade and a half, the UN's World Meteorological Organisation said on Tuesday.

Thirteen of the warmest years recorded have occurred within the last decade and a half, the UN's World Meteorological Organisation said on Tuesday.

The year 2011 caps a decade that ties the record as the hottest ever measured, the WMO said in a provisional report on and , unveiled at UN in Durban, South Africa.

"Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement, adding that policy makers should take note of the findings.

"Concentrations of in the atmosphere have reached new highs and are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a 2 to 2.4 Celsius rise in average ."

Scientists believe that any rise above the 2.0 threshold could trigger far-reaching and irreversible changes on Earth over land and in the seas.

The 2002-2011 period equals 2001-2010 as the warmest decade since 1850, the report said.

2011 ranks as the 10th since 1850, when began.

This was true despite a La Nina event -- one of the strongest in 60 years -- that developed in the tropical Pacific in the second half of 2010 and continued until May 2011.

Meterological events like La Nina, and its cousin El Nino, are not caused by climate change, but rising ocean temperatures caused by global warming may affect their intensity and frequency, scientists say.

The report noted that the cyclical climate phenomenon, which strikes every three to seven years, helped drive extreme including droughts in east Africa, islands in the central equatorial Pacific and the southern United States.

It also aggravated flooding in southern Africa, eastern Australia and southern Asia.

While La Nina, and its meteorological cousin , are not caused by climate change, rising caused by global warming may affect their intensity and frequency, scientists say.

Average over land were above long-term averages in most regions.

Over northern Russia January to October temperatures were about 4.0 Celsius (7.2 Fahrenheit) above average in places. Nearby Finland had its hottest summer in 200 years.

Sea ice in the Arctic shrank to its second lowest surface area after 2007, and has reached record levels of thinness.

Extreme weather events in 2011 -- some influenced by La Nina -- included, by region:

EAST AFRICA: In a region where agriculture is almost entirely rain-fed, severe drought affected many countries through most of 2011, especially in northern Kenya, western Somalia and some parts of Ethiopia.

Some 13 million people required emergency aid, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Starting in October, many of the same areas were overwhelmed by flood-provoking rains.

Severe drought affected many East African countries through most of 2011, especially in northern Kenya, western Somalia and some parts of Ethiopia. Some 13 million people required emergency aid, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

EAST ASIA: Rainfall during the 2011 monsoon season was far above average, with Thailand and Laos most affected. Floods claimed nearly 1,000 lives across Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Severe flooding, exacerbated by high tides, affected many parts of Bangkok for several weeks from mid-October, causing economic damage of several billion dollars.

NORTH AMERICA: Fourteen weather-climate events in the United States each caused at least one billion dollars in losses.

Extreme drought affected a large swath of the south, especially Texas, where rainfall for the first 10 months of the year was a record 56 percent below normal.

Temperatures in the Lone Star state were also exceptionally hot, 3.0 C (5.4 F) above long-term averages.

Some northern and central states, by contrast, saw record rainfall, leading to severe flooding, as did areas hit by Hurricane Irene in August and Tropical Storm Lee the next month.

CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA: Rainfall exceeding 200 millimetres (eight inches) in a few hours left at least 900 dead in the mountains north of Rio de Janeiro, one of the deadliest natural disasters in Brazil's history.

Central America experienced major flooding in October -- an astounding 1,513 millimetres (60.5 inches) of rain fell in Huizucar, El Salvador over 10 days. Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica were also hit.

SOUTH ASIA: For the second year in a row, Pakistan saw severe flooding, though more localised -- in the south -- than in 2010. It was the wettest monsoon season on record for the province of Sindh.

Explore further: Support for carbon tax grows when revenue fuels renewable energy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

La Nina returns, bringing more severe weather: US

Sep 08, 2011

The weather phenomenon known as La Nina is returning for another season, likely bringing more drought, heavy rains and severe weather to some parts of the world, US forecasters said Thursday.

La Nina outlook is easing says UN weather agency

May 23, 2011

La Nina, the disruptive weather pattern behind floods and droughts, is easing and there are no signs suggesting a resurgence in the coming months, the UN weather agency said on Monday.

World temps maintain the heat of global warming

Nov 29, 2011

2011 is currently tied for the 10th hottest since records began in 1850 and Arctic sea ice has shrunk to record-low volumes this year, the U.N. weather office said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

EU sets new energy savings target at 30%

54 minutes ago

After months of tough negotiations, the European Commission recommended Wednesday a new energy savings target of 30 percent so as to combat climate change and ensure self-sufficiency.

User comments : 23

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

3432682
1.6 / 5 (13) Nov 29, 2011
Examine the last 10,000 years, not just since 1880. We're cooler now than 80-90% of that time period. Anecdotes are not science, they are propaganda.
tadchem
1.9 / 5 (9) Nov 29, 2011
In 1850, "when accurate measurements began," we were just beginning to emerge from the Little Ice Age, when Hudson Bay and the Thames routinely froze over in the winter. This is in contrast to the Medieval Warm Period when grapes grew wild in Scotland and Labrador, places that today are still not warm enough for grapes.
Guy_Underbridge
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 29, 2011
Texas is turning into a desert, but that's OK, because it's anecdotal. Last year, too. And the year before...
plaasjaapie
2.4 / 5 (5) Nov 29, 2011
I grew up in South Texas and saw my first rain when I was five in about 1952. Texas periodically gets intense droughts.
deatopmg
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 29, 2011
this is from the UN w/ ZERO credibility when it comes to climatology.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.1 / 5 (13) Nov 29, 2011
There was no little ice age. It was a regional cooling.

Stop regurgitating long disproved lies.

"we were just beginning to emerge from the Little Ice Age" - TardChem
Vendicar_Decarian
4.1 / 5 (13) Nov 29, 2011
http://www.newsci..._600.jpg

The above graphic shows you to be a liar.

"We're cooler now than 80-90% of that time period." - Lying Denialist
Vendicar_Decarian
4.1 / 5 (13) Nov 29, 2011
tadchem - PhysOrg Member since September 24, 2007, 11:58 am
deatopmg - PhysOrg Member since September 24, 2007, 11:58 am
Howhot
4.6 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2011
Texas is turning into a desert, but that's OK, because it's anecdotal. Last year, too. And the year before


Yeap. I noticed that too. Same with southwest Kansas, and KC Kansas had record breakers too. Longest hottest heat wave recorded.
Crops not doing well either and the water aquifer in SW Kansas is tapped from irrigation.

Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (12) Nov 30, 2011
Examine the last 10,000 years, not just since 1880. We're cooler now than 80-90% of that time period. Anecdotes are not science, they are propaganda.


Wow, the sock puppet voters got you! Doesn't matter what you say or how you say it, if it's against the liberal principles of 1-2 people on PhysOrg, you will get zapped by 5-10 "1" votes.

Sad, hypocritical, anti-social, anti-intellectual, and anti-science.
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (11) Nov 30, 2011
http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn11647/dn11647-4_600.jpg

The above graphic shows you to be a liar.

"We're cooler now than 80-90% of that time period." - Lying Denialist


Great source there big boy!

For those of you with a modicum of self-respect and intellectual curiosity, take a look at one critique of Vendicar's source:

"In September 2006, New Scientist was criticised by science fiction writer Greg Egan, who wrote that "a sensationalist bent and a lack of basic knowledge by its writers" was making the magazine's coverage sufficiently unreliable "to constitute a real threat to the public understanding of science"."
bluehigh
1.3 / 5 (13) Nov 30, 2011
Valid and reputable link to graphic, thanks Vendi. It would take a fool or a writer of fiction to argue the point. Regional cooling accepted in the absence of anyone else demonstrating otherwise.

Nerdyguy
1.4 / 5 (11) Nov 30, 2011
Valid and reputable link to graphic, thanks Vendi. It would take a fool or a writer of fiction to argue the point. Regional cooling accepted in the absence of anyone else demonstrating otherwise.


Whether it's Vendicar, bluehigh, kochevik, or whatever name you choose to post under, my post is valid.

The site chosen as Vendicar's reference has been criticized by many for its astoundingly bad representation of science information. Egan is only one of the most famous -- and vocal -- of those who have criticized it.

In addition, Egan himself is no fool. He has a B.S. in Mathematics, and his been widely praised for his style of "hard scifi", which means he predominantly writes about real events, with real science which he painstakingly researches. Vs. other sci-fi writers, like the imminent scientists Asimov or Clarke, who enjoyed adding more fantasy into the mix.

Bottom line, you can call names all day long. Facts don't change either way.
rubberman
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 30, 2011
From the events listed in the article,I find it rather unsettling that this (last 15 years) occurred during a solar minimum. In the event that we have the misfortune of a solar maximum colliding with a strong El nino and the anecdotal CO2 non effect, 1998 will feel like an outdoor sponge bath in the fall.....nah that'll never happen
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 01, 2011
VD posted this
tadchem - PhysOrg Member since September 24, 2007, 11:58 am
deatopmg - PhysOrg Member since September 24, 2007, 11:58 am

Here are some other older members
gmurphy Member since: September 24, 2007, 11:58 am
Parsec Member since: September 24, 2007, 11:58 am
mabarker Member since: September 24, 2007, 11:57 am I used to see posts from Ma back to 2005.
Valentiinro Member since: September 24, 2007, 11:58 am
The ever popular
omatumr Member since: September 24, 2007, 11:57 am

So older members all have about the start time.

Ethelred
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2011
In addition, Egan himself is no fool. He has a B.S. in Mathematics, and his been widely praised for his style of "hard scifi"
You ever read any of his stuff? I have. Don't much care for him as a writer. Two books and didn't like either.

His remark about New Scientist may be correct in general though.

HOWEVER that does not change the facts.

Whether it's Vendicar, bluehigh, kochevik, or whatever name you choose to post under
That is three different people. Bluehigh is an Ausie, VD is a Canuck Troll and Kochevik is deranged.

The graph was not the product of New Scientist. They just published it. It would be nice to know the original source. My guess it that it is based on isotope ratios, perhaps from ice cores.

Ethelred
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2011
Poor NerdBoy. He is on the wrong side of every issue.

How ConservaTard of him.

Nanobanano
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 04, 2011
VD:

I don't take seriously extrapolations of past temperature changes of a mere 0.1 to 0.5C based on core samples.

We all know ocean currents and wave actions can carry animal remains much farther than the temperature range itself, and that graphic is a little absurd plotting all these "data" points as though they actually mean anything compared to actual thermometer data in the past 117 years of the modern record.

That said, you can't argue with the modern data either.

We know there's less ice than there ever has been since at least the 1400's.

Dallas/Fort Worth broke their record high almost every day this summer.

They broke and then re-broke the ALL TIME record high SEVEN times during this summer 2011, and a couple other stations broke their ALL TIME record highs more than once this year.

It's a pretty damn big deal when you break the ALL TIME record high 5 to 7 times in one year. That means they had SEVEN days that were hotter than ANY day in history...
Nanobanano
2 / 5 (4) Dec 04, 2011
rubberman:

This year was a "neutral" year in the 11-year solar cycle.

I don't know about longer solar cycles, but I've seen a graphic recently of the 11 year cycle.

Next 3 years "should" be the "hottest" 3 years in the 11 year cycle.

Takes 3 years for the low peak on the Keeling Curve to be strictly worse than the present high peak, so intuitively, 2013 and 2014 ought to be real scorchers, because both the solar cycle and the CO2 will be strictly worse than they are now. That is, the minimum seasonal greenhouse effect from CO2 will be worse than the maximum was this year.

Four, five, six years from now we'll be in neutral solar cycle years again, just like we are now, but then again, the CO2 will be 9 to 13 PPM worse, if not a bit more than that...
Shootist
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 04, 2011
Past decade ties for world's hottest: UN agency


People actually believe, as fact, what comes from the UN? The least trustworthy organization (behind the Comintern, the DNC and Taliban) in the world?

And they don't believe, Freeman Dyson when he says, "The polar bears will be fine"?

Dyson is smarter, more knowledgeable, and better able to judge the strength and weaknesses of data synthesis than anyone at the UN; or even all of them, combined.
Nanobanano
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 04, 2011
Riiight, shootist. It's all an evil, multi-nationalist government hoax.

http://www.wunder...num=1995

Hey everyone! The Condor will be fine too, right!

But Dyson might be right anyway. Polar bears probably don't actually "need" ice, they're just designed to deal with it. They can probably compete with other animals in surrounding habitats if forced to do so, after all, they are the largest bear and highly intelligent...they just got all that white fur to hide in the forest, but maybe a few will get lucky and mutate some pigment genes back into their genomes...
StarGazer2011
1 / 5 (4) Dec 04, 2011
Wow Vendicar, you are just as bright as the average climate 'post normal scientist' arent you?
The chart you posted shows that we are much cooler now (the black line) than we have been for most of the list 12000 years, and all of the last 6000 (with the exception of the little ice age).
You are typical of the warmist faithful, such absolute confirmation bias that you will post a chart which destroys your argument as though it supported it.
Hilarious.
http://www.newsci..._600.jpg
Shelgeyr
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
@Nanobanano said, apparently sarcastically:
It's all an evil, multi-nationalist government hoax.


Sounds silly, perhaps even preposterous, doesn't it?

Good thing we have a great many of their own emails attesting to their fraud. In context even!

Face it, Nanobanano, the liars got caught.

Sadly, in this political environment, getting caught might not be enough for them to get punished. And given the state of climate "science", I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up giving themselves awards.