UN: Besides Haiyan, 2013 storm season near average

Nov 13, 2013 by Karl Ritter

Apart from Typhoon Haiyan, which has devastated the Philippines, it's been an average year for tropical cyclones, the U.N. weather agency said Wednesday in its annual climate report.

The World Meteorological Organization counted 86 tropical storms so far this year, just three short of the annual average since 1981. They were unevenly spread across the globe.

The Atlantic saw its quietest season since 1994 in terms of the intensity and duration of , according to the WMO report, which was released as U.N. climate talks were ongoing in Warsaw. Of the 12 named storms only two—Humberto and Ingrid—reached hurricane strength. Both were Category 1 hurricanes, the lowest level.

The Western North Pacific, however, had recorded 30 storms by early November, above the annual average of 26, the WMO said. Thirteen of them were typhoons, including Haiyan, which struck the Philippines last week.

Storms that reach 74 mph (119 kph) are called hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the northwest Pacific.

Typhoon Haiyan is one of the most powerful storms to make landfall anywhere, and it is feared to have killed thousands of people and affected more than 9 million.

"Although individual cannot be directly attributed to climate change, higher sea levels are already making coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges. We saw this with tragic consequences in the Philippines," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement.

The reached a record high in March this year, according to the report. Since satellite measurements began in 1993, seas have been rising annually by about 3.2 millimeters or just over one-tenth of an inch. Scientists believe it's a result of global warming.

The report also said 2013 is on track to become one of the top 10 hottest years on record. The first nine months of the year were about 0.86 F (0.48 C) warmer than average, meaning 2013 so far is tied with 2003 as the seventh hottest year since the start of measurements in 1850, the WMO said.

The hottest year on record is 2010.

Explore further: Confucian thought and China's environmental dilemmas

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

UN sends team to clean up Bangladesh oil spill

5 hours ago

The United Nations said Thursday it has sent a team of international experts to Bangladesh to help clean up the world's largest mangrove forest, more than a week after it was hit by a huge oil spill.

How will climate change transform agriculture?

5 hours ago

Climate change impacts will require major but very uncertain transformations of global agriculture systems by mid-century, according to new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Report: Radiation leak at nuclear dump was small

5 hours ago

A final report by independent researchers shows the radiation leak from the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico was small and localized.

Confucian thought and China's environmental dilemmas

9 hours ago

Conventional wisdom holds that China - the world's most populous country - is an inveterate polluter, that it puts economic goals above conservation in every instance. So China's recent moves toward an apparent ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.