Mankind kept 2011 global temperatures near record - WMO

GENEVA Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:57pm IST

A man is silhouetted against the sun as he goes through a dumping ground for recyclable material in Karachi on September 1, 2011. REUTERS/Athar Hussain/Files

A man is silhouetted against the sun as he goes through a dumping ground for recyclable material in Karachi on September 1, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Athar Hussain/Files

Related Topics

GENEVA (Reuters) - Human activity kept global temperatures close to a record high in 2011 despite the cooling influence of a powerful La Nina weather pattern, the World Meteorological Organization said on Friday.

On average, global temperatures in 2011 were lower than the record level hit the previous year but were still 0.40 degrees Centigrade above the 1961-1990 average and the 11th highest on record, the report said.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud warned that the consequences of global warming could be permanent. "The world is warming because of human activities and this is resulting in far-reaching and potentially irreversible impact on our Earth, atmosphere and oceans," he said.

La Nina, a natural weather phenomenon linked to heavy rains and flooding in the Asia-Pacific and South America and drought in Africa, was one of the strongest in the past 60 years and stayed active in the tropical Pacific until May 2011.

Further signs of man's contribution to climate change will put the biggest polluters in the spotlight after they agreed for the first time last December at U.N. climate talks in Durban to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Critics of the agreement have said that the plan was too timid to slow global warming.

The WMO, part of the United Nations, said that elevated temperatures had contributed to extreme weather conditions such as intense droughts and flooding and droughts in east Africa and North America.

Global tropical cyclone activity was below average last year but the United States had one of the most destructive tornado seasons on record, the report said.

Another impact of high temperatures was shrinking Arctic sea ice and its extent was the second-lowest minimum on record and the volume was the lowest.

The WMO also said that the decade between 2001-1010 was the warmest ever recorded across all of the world's continents ahead of the release of its 'Decadal Global Climate Summary'.

2010 tied for the warmest year since data started in 1880, capping a decade of record high temperatures that shows mankind's greenhouse gas emissions are heating the planet, two U.S. agencies said.

(Reporting by Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Nina Chestney in London; Editing by Susan Fenton)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

EBOLA OUTBREAK

REUTERS SHOWCASE

HK Protest

HK Protest

Prolonged Hong Kong protest could harm financial image, says envoy.  Full Article 

Climate Change

Climate Change

Cap on liability for climate damage worth a look - expert.  Full Article 

Caught in Korea

Caught in Korea

Third American held in N.Korea appeals to U.S. for help - report.  Full Article 

Expanding Range

Expanding Range

North Korea, already under UN sanctions, prepares launch site for longer-range rockets - report.  Full Article 

Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

Massacre in Syrian Kurdish town would end PKK's peace talks with Turkey - Ocalan.  Full Article 

Road Offences

Road Offences

France's Le Pen loses driving licence, but says not her fault.  Full Article 

Nuclear Deal

Nuclear Deal

Israel's Netanyahu to Obama: Don't allow Iran deal that leaves it at nuclear threshold.  Full Article 

Germany Politics

Germany Politics

German defence crisis puts potential Merkel successor in hot seat .  Full Article 

Peace Conference

Peace Conference

Nobel Laureates condemn South Africa visa denial to Dalai Lama.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage