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 December 08, 2009
Hot and Getting Hotter - The Warmest Decade So Far

 

Geneva - The year 2009 is likely to rank in the top 10 warmest on record since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850, according to data sources compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature for 2009 (January-October) is currently estimated at 0.44C 0.11C (0.79F 0.20F) above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14.00C/57.2F. The current nominal ranking of 2009, which does not account for uncertainties in the annual averages, places it as the fifth-warmest year.

The decade of the 2000s (2000-2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990-1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980-1989). More complete data for the remainder of the year 2009 will be analysed at the beginning of 2010 to update the current assessment.

This year above-normal temperatures were recorded in most parts of the continents. Only North America (United States and Canada) experienced conditions that were cooler than average. Given the current figures, large parts of southern Asia and central Africa are likely to have the warmest year on record.

compare_datasets_big

Global Surface Temperature Trend : Result from three Global datasets: NOAA (NCDC Dataset) , NASA (GISS dataset) and combined Hadley Center and Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UK) (HadCRUT3 dataset)

Climate extremes, including devastating floods, severe droughts, snowstorms, heatwaves and cold waves, were recorded in many parts of the world. This year the extreme warm events were more frequent and intense in southern South America, Australia and southern Asia, in particular. La Nia conditions shifted into a warm-phase El Nio-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in June. The Arctic sea ice extent during the melt season ranked the third lowest, after the lowest and second-lowest records set in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

This preliminary information for 2009 is based on climate data from networks of land-based weather and climate stations, ships and buoys, as well as satellites. The data are continuously collected and disseminated by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the 189 Members of WMO and several collaborating research institutions.

The data continuously feed three main depository global climate data and analysis centres, which develop and maintain homogeneous global climate datasets based on peer-reviewed methodologies. The WMO global temperature analysis is thus based on three complementary datasets.

The content of the WMO statement is verified and peer-reviewed by leading experts from other international, regional and national climate institutions and centres before its publication.

One is the combined dataset maintained by both the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. Another dataset is maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the United States Department of Commerce, and the third one is from the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Final updates and figures for 2009 will be published  in March 2010 in the annual WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate.

Read the full Press Release for details on regional anomolies and the impacts of the warming trend

Source: www.wmo.int