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2013 Among the Warmest on Record: WMO Reports

WMO5 February 2014: According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2013 was among the top ten warmest years since recordings began in 1850. Tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest year, 2013's global land and ocean surface temperature was .50°C above the 1961-1990 average and .03°C above the 2001-2010 decadal average. 

According to WMO, 2010 and 2005 are the warmest years on record, when global temperatures were approximately .55 °C above the long-term average, followed by 1998, which experienced an exceptionally strong El Niño event.

While the US observed the highest annual temperatures in 2012, warming in 2013 was most extreme in Australia, which recorded its warmest year on record. Surface temperature is one of the most consistently measured weather and climate variable, and has the most direct connection to long-term climate change. The ocean absorbs over 90% of excess heat caused by human activities.

While noting lack of uniformity in the warming rate, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said the underlying warming trend is undisputable and that given the record amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere, global temperatures will continue to rise for generations to come.

WMO released the temperature data in advance of its full Statement on the Status of the Climate in 2013, to be published in March, which will include extensive information on regional temperatures, precipitation, floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, ice cover and sea level.

The WMO global temperature data is based on independent complementary datasets maintained by: the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Centre; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Goddard Institute of Space Studies. WMO consolidates these datasets to provide single, consolidated temperature figures. [WMO Statement]