his decade is on track to become the warmest since records began in 1850, and 2009 could rank among the top-five warmest years, the UN weather agency reported Tuesday on the second day of a pivotal 192-nation climate conference.
Only the United States and Canada experienced cooler conditions than average, the World Meteorological Organization said, although Alaska had the second-warmest July on record.
In central Africa and southern Asia, this will probably be the warmest year, but overall, 2009 will "be about the fifth-warmest year on record," said Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the WMO.
The agency also noted an extreme heat wave in India in May and a heat wave in northern China in June. It said parts of China experienced their warmest year on record, and that Australia so far has had its third-warmest year. Extremely warm weather was also more frequent and intense in southern South America.