WMO: 2008 Among the Ten Warmest Years
16 December 2008: The year 2008 is likely to rank as the tenth warmest year on record, since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850, according to data sources compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The global combined sea- and land-surface air temperature for 2008
is currently estimated at 0.31°C/0.56°F above the 1961-1990 annual
average of 14.00°C/57.2°F. The global average temperature in 2008 was
slightly lower than that for the previous years of the 21st century,
due in particular to the moderate to strong La Niña that developed in
the latter half of 2007.
The Arctic Sea ice extent dropped to its
second-lowest level during the melt season since satellite measurements
began in 1979. Climate extremes, including devastating floods, severe
and persistent droughts, snow storms, heat waves and cold waves, were
recorded in many parts of the world.
The WMO press release also
contains information for 2008 on regional temperature anomalies,
droughts, flooding and storms, La Niña, tropical cyclones, Antarctic
ozone hole and Arctic sea ice extent. This preliminary information for
2008 is based on climate data from networks of land-based weather
stations, ships and buoys, as well as satellites. The data are
continuously collected and disseminated by the National Meteorological
and Hydrological Services of WMO's 188 members and several
collaborating research institutions. Final updates and figures for 2008
will be published in March 2009 in the annual WMO Statement on the
Status of the Global Climate. [WMO Press Release]