Warsaw 14th November 2013: 2013 is the seventh warmest year with average global land and ocean surface temperatures 0.48°C (0.86°F) above the 1961-1990 average, World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) latest figures shows.
A build-up of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere meant a warmer future was now inevitable, said Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General in a statement during November 11-22 climate talks among almost 200 nations in Warsaw.
Michel Jarraud said: “All of the warmest years have been since 1998 and this year once again continues the underlying, long-term trend. The coldest years now are warmer than the hottest years before 1998. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases reached new highs in 2012, and we expect them to reach unprecedented levels yet again in 2013. This means that we are committed to a warmer future.”
Sea levels have risen at an average rate of about 3.2 millimetres per year since 1993 and rising sea levels are complicating the impact of storms like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
“Higher sea levels are already making coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges. We saw this with tragic consequences in the Philippines,” Jarraud said.
2013 is likely to end among the top 10 warmest years since records started in 1850, according to WMO statement.
The extremes in 2013 have included record heatwaves in Australia, floods from Sudan to Europe and super typhoon Haiyan. Haiyan is one of the most powerful storms in history that smashed into the Philippines last week. President Benigno Aquino said local officials had overstated the loss of life, which was closer to 2,000 or 2,500 than the 10,000 previously estimated.
“The jury is still out on whether tropical cyclones will become more frequent in the future,” said Jeremiah Lengoasa, deputy WMO Secretary-General.
Envoys from 195 countries have gathered in the Polish capital to craft elements of a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gases. The Warsaw talks are working on a long-term deal to confront global warming, which is due to be agreed in 2015 in Paris. They aim to adopt the treaty in 2015 and have it come into force from 2020. Their task is to limit temperatures to ensure they don’t rise by more than the agreed UN target of 2 degrees Celsius since industrialization.