The record sea ice melt this year was one strong signal about the changing climate, the WMO said.The world is on-track for its ninth warmest year on record, with temperatures below the average for the past decade due to the cooling effects of La Niña, but still higher than long-term averages.
In an update of the earth’s weather in 2012, the World Meteorological Organisation says that so far, average global temperatures have been around 0.45 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 average of 14.2 degrees.
The results are drawn from three data sets from between January and October. The WMO will update the results in March.
The organisation says this year continues a long-term trend of warming due to climate change as a result of human induced-emissions of greenhouse gases. The organisation points to record levels of Artic sea ice melting as an indication of the changes experienced.
The data was released overnight as representatives of about 200 countries meet in Doha, Qatar, for international climate change negotiations.
In a statement, the organisation’s Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said: “Naturally occurring climate variability due to phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña impact on temperatures and precipitation on a seasonal to annual scale. But they do not alter the underlying long-term trend of rising temperatures due to climate change as a result of human activities.
“The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a new record low. The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth’s oceans and biosphere,” he said.
“Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records.”
In Australia, temperatures were 0.58 degrees below average from January to October, driven by cooler-than-average minimum temperatures, especially during the period between February and August. After higher-than-normal rainfall over the past two years in Australia due to La Niña, levels have returned to near normal in 2012.
But despite cooler temperatures in Australia, the organisation says large parts of the world experienced higher temperatures, especially North America, southern Europe, western and central Russia and northwestern Asia.
About 15,000 daily heat records were broken across the United States. Droughts also affected much of the United States and parts of Russia, Europe and China.
Worldwide, the organisation said that the tropical cyclone rate was near the 1981-2010 average of 85 storms, with a total of 81. Typhoon Sanba, which hit the Philippines, Japan and the Korean peninsula was the strongest.
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