Monday, July 15, 2013

2001-2010, A Decade of Climate Extremes

The first decade of the 21st century was the warmest decade recorded since modern measurements began around 1850.

It saw above-average precipitation, including one year –2010 – that broke all previous records. It was also marked by dramatic climate and weather extremes such as the European heatwave of 2003, the 2010 floods in Pakistan, hurricane Katrina in the USA, cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and long-term droughts in the Amazon Basin, Australia and East Africa.

The new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), The Global Climate 2001-2010, A Decade of Climate Extremes, analyzed global and regional temperatures and precipitation, as well as the aforementioned extreme events.

“A decade is the minimum possible timeframe for meaningful assessments of climate change,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “WMO’s report shows that global warming was significant from 1971 to 2010 and that the decadal rate of increase between 1991-2000 and 2001-2010 was unprecedented. Rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are changing our climate, with far reaching implications for our environment and our oceans, which are absorbing both carbon dioxide and heat.”