‘Thirteen warmest years have occurred since 1997’

Assessment comes from session at UN Framework Convention on Climate Change highlighting group’s provisional annual statement on status of global climate.

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December 1, 2011 06:29
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Drought causingt famine in East Africa

Africa Drought. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The world’s 13 warmest years have all occurred during the past 15 years, and temperatures in 2011 are the 10th highest ever, the World Meteorological Organization announced at a meeting in Durban, South Africa, on Tuesday.

The assessments came from a session at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change highlighting the group’s provisional annual statement on the status of the global climate. The report stated that 2011 was the warmest year in which a La Niña event – which typically cools the environment – has occurred. Meanwhile, the volume of Arctic Sea ice was the lowest on record, with the second lowest surface area ever, according to the statement.

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“Our role is to provide the scientific knowledge to inform action by decision makers,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary- General Michel Jarraud, in the statement. “Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities.

“Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached new highs. They are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a 2-2.4 degree centigrade rise in average global temperatures which scientists believe could trigger far reaching and irreversible changes in our Earth, biosphere and oceans,” he said.


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