DURBAN, Nov. 29 – Global temperatures in 2011 are currently the tenth highest on record and are higher than any previous year with a La Nina event, which has a relative cooling influence, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement issued in Durban on Tuesday.
WMO's annual World Meteorological Organization Statement on the Status of the Global Climate was released at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which takes place from November 28 to December 9.
According to the statement, the global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature from Jan. to Oct in 2011 is currently estimated at around 0.41 degree Centigrade above the 1961 to 1990 annual average of 14.00 degree Centigrade.
"Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached new highs. They are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a 2 degree to 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," said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
The statement revealed that global climate in 2011 was heavily influenced by the strong La Nina event, which developed in the tropical Pacific in the second half of 2010 and continued until May 2011.
"It was one of the strongest of the last 60 years and was closely associated with the drought in east Africa, islands in the central equatorial Pacific and the southern United States, and flooding in southern Africa, eastern Australia and southern Asia," read parts of the statement.
Sea ice volume was even further below average and was estimated at a new record low of 4,200 cubic kilometers, surpassing the record of 4,580 cubic kilometers set in 2010, the statement said. (PNA/Xinhua) LAP/utb