Hot and Getting Hotter - The Warmest Decade So Far

Geneva - The year 2009 is likely to rank in the top 10
warmest 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 surface and
land surface air temperature for 2009 (January-October) is
currently estimated at 0.44°C ± 0.11°C (0.79°F ± 0.20°F) above the
1961-1990 annual average of 14.00°C/57.2°F. The current nominal
ranking of 2009, which does not account for uncertainties in the
annual averages, places it as the fifth-warmest year.

The decade of the 2000s (2000-2009)
was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990-1999), which in
turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980-1989). More complete data for
the remainder of the year 2009 will be analysed at the beginning of
2010 to update the current assessment.

This year above-normal temperatures
were recorded in most parts of the continents. Only North America
(United States and Canada) experienced conditions that were cooler
than average. Given the current figures, large parts of southern
Asia and central Africa are likely to have the warmest year on


Global Surface
Temperature Trend : Result from three Global datasets: NOAA (NCDC
Dataset) , NASA (GISS dataset) and combined Hadley Center and
Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UK)
(HadCRUT3 dataset)

Climate extremes, including
devastating floods, severe droughts, snowstorms, heatwaves and cold
waves, were recorded in many parts of the world. This year the
extreme warm events were more frequent and intense in southern
South America, Australia and southern Asia, in particular. La Niña
conditions shifted into a warm-phase El Niño-Southern Oscillation
(ENSO) in June. The Arctic sea ice extent during the melt season
ranked the third lowest, after the lowest and second-lowest records
set in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

This preliminary information for
2009 is based on climate data from networks of land-based weather
and climate stations, ships and buoys, as well as satellites. The
data are continuously collected and disseminated by the National
Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the 189 Members
of WMO and several collaborating research institutions.

The data continuously feed three
main depository global climate data and analysis centres, which
develop and maintain homogeneous global climate datasets based on
peer-reviewed methodologies. The WMO global temperature analysis is
thus based on three complementary datasets.

The content of the WMO
statement is verified and peer-reviewed by leading experts from
other international, regional and national climate institutions and
centres before its publication.

One is the combined dataset
maintained by both the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the
Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.
Another dataset is maintained by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the United States
Department of Commerce, and the third one is from the Goddard
Institute of Space Studies (GISS) operated by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Final updates and figures for 2009
will be published  in March 2010 in the annual WMO Statement
on the Status of the Global Climate.

target=”_blank”>Read the full Press Release for details on
regional anomolies and the impacts of the warming trend


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