The first decade of the new millennium was the warmest on record, the United Nations weather monitoring agency has announced.
“The decade of the 2000s was warmer than the decade of the 1990s, which in turn was warmer than the 1980s,” said Omar Baddour, Chief of the Data Management Application Divisions at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The new findings are part of the WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate, an annual survey by the agency about the weather and climate change.
The decade between 2000 and 2009 included one of the warmest years on record – last year, which was the fifth hottest year since records began.
“The current nominal ranking of 2009 places it as the fifth-warmest year since the beginning of instrumental climate records [in 1850],” Mr. Baddour said yesterday.
Last year also brought extreme weather, ranging from devastating droughts to severe floods, extreme heat waves and cold waves, in many parts of the world, according to the newly released WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate.
The Southern Hemisphere was particularly warmer than the long-term average, while the Northern Hemisphere cooled at the end of 2009 with heavy snowfall in Europe, North America and northern Asia.
The information is based on climate date from a network of data collected from some 10,000 land stations, 3,000 aircraft, 1,000 upper-air stations and 1,000 ships and nearly 70 satellites.
The statement’s release coincided with the 60th anniversary of the Geneva-based WMO, which yesterday marked the event by honouring the 189 members’ National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS).