WMO: 2011 is 10th Warmest Year on Record

WMO29 November 2011: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released highlights of the provisional annual WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate. 

The Statement, which was released at the Durban Climate Change Conference, notes that global temperatures in 2011 are the 10th highest on record, and higher than any year with a La Nina event, with 13 of the warmest years occurring since 1997. The extent of Arctic sea ice was the second lowest on record. Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary General, stressed that “Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities.”

The Statement estimates the global sea and land surface temperature average at 0.4°C +/- 0.11°C higher than the 1961-1990 average. The largest departures from average were felt in the Russian Federation, where January-October temperatures were 4°C higher than average. The Arctic sea ice minimum was 35% below the 1979-2000 average with both the Northwest and Northeast Passages ice-free for periods in the 2011 summer. Weather highlights included severe drought and flood in East Africa; major floods in Asia, Pakistan, Central and South America; flash floods; and below-average tropical cyclone activity. [WMO Press Release]