Scientists say global land surface temperatures likely warmest since 1880
Reuters, Aug 7, 2007
The World Meteorological Organization said global land surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since records began in 1880, at more than 1 degree Celsius higher than average for those months.
There have also been severe monsoon floods across South Asia, abnormally heavy rains in northern Europe,
The start of the year 2007 was a very active period in terms of extreme weather events, Omar Baddour of the agencys World Climate Program told journalists in
While most scientists believe extreme weather events will be more frequent as heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions cause global temperatures to rise, Baddour said it was impossible to say with certainty what the second half of 2007 will bring.
It is very difficult to make projections for the rest of the year, he said.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N. umbrella group of hundreds of experts, has noted an increasing trend in extreme weather events over the past 50 years and said irregular patterns are likely to intensify.
South Asias worst monsoon flooding in recent memory has affected 30 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, destroying croplands, livestock and property and raising fears of a health crisis in the densely-populated region.
Heavy rains also doused southern
Huge swell waves swamped some 68 islands in the
Temperature records were broken in southeastern Europe in June and July, and in western and central
The WMO and its 188 member states are working to set up an early warning system for extreme weather events. The agency is also seeking to improve monitoring of the impacts of climate change, particularly in poorer countries which are expected to bear the brunt of floods, droughts and storms.
Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Extreme weather the norm across globe
Financial Times, Aug. 7, 2007
The world this year has suffered record-breaking weather extremes in almost every continent, the United Nations World Meteorological Organisation has warned, with global land temperatures reaching their highest levels since records began in 1800.
The floods, droughts, heatwaves and storms could be part of the climates natural variations and cannot be directly attributed to climate change. However, such instances of extreme weather are consistent with predictions of what will happen as the worlds climate grows warmer.
The findings may fuel concern that action to stem climate change should be taken now. Experts from the Intergovernmental Group on Climate Change have said the process would become irreversible if temperatures rise 3°C above pre-industrial levels.
The WMO said global land surface temperatures in 2007 were 1.89°C warmer than average for January, and 1.37°C warmer than average for April. It tracked an alarming incidence of unusually adverse weather from Europe and Asia to Latin America, the Middle East and
Monsoon extremes and incessant rains caused large-scale flooding all over South Asia, it said, a situation that continues even now, resulting in more than 500 deaths, displacement of more than 10m people and destruction of vast areas of croplands, livestock and property.
Cyclone Gonu, the first documented cyclone in the Arabian Sea, landed in
In east Asia, heavy rains in June ravaged southern
Further south, the worst flooding in six years hit
A series of large swell waves (3 metres-4.5 metres) swamped 68 islands in 16 atolls in the Maldives, while to the west, in Latin America, early May saw Uruguays worst flooding since 1959.
These deluges were matched by extremes of temperature in other parts of the world, with two record-breaking heatwaves affecting southeastern
In July, temperatures in
The UN will hold a high-level meeting on climate change in September, ahead of a ministerial conference in
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007