As I mentioned it previously in this article, in January the UK Met Office forecast that 2007 would break all-time records on a meteorological point of view.
By reviewing the data available with the first months of the year, it seems to be absolutely the case. This is what the United Nations revealed via one of their agency.
In one of its press release yesterday, The WMO (World Meteorological Organization) tackled extensively this issue and the findings are food for fought and worrying.
Recently on TV we all saw the huge floods that occurred in the United Kingdom, or massive heatwave in Central Europe as well as many other extreme weather events on all continents. As I speak, New York is the victim of floods and the monsoon in India is of rare violence.
This news bring us back to the warning issued by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that extreme weather events would occur more on more if global warming was to continue.
Hence one can possibly see the current weather as a harbinger of what we could have on large scale in the future if nothing was done to mitigate climate change or if our actions were too little too late.
According to the Financial Times :
The world this year has suffered record-breaking weather extremes in almost every continent, the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organisation has warned, with global land temperatures reaching their highest levels since records began in 1800.
The International Herald Tribune notes :
“The start of the year 2007 was a very active year in terms of extreme climatic and meteorological events,” said Omar Baddour, a climatologist with the World Meteorological Organization.
In May the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fourth report, warning that global warming would increase the number of extreme weather events and cause more natural disasters, which will hit the poor hardest.
Global surface temperatures in January — when Europe experienced an unusually mild winter — were the highest since records began. According to data compiled by WMO measurements were 1.89 degrees Celsius (3.4 Fahrenheit) above the 127-year average.
The Geneva-based agency said April temperatures around the world rose 1.37 degrees Celsius (2.46 Fahrenheit) above the historical average since 1880. Record storms, floods and heat waves have since occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
Hundreds have died and thousands have lost their livelihoods in floods since the start of the year in China, South Asia, Mozambique, Sudan and Uruguay, while the period from May to July was the wettest in England and Wales since records began in 1766, WMO said.
It said two heat waves in southeastern Europe in June and July broke previous records, with temperatures in Bulgaria hitting 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) on July 23.
Other extreme events this year include rare snowfall in South Africa and Argentina, and the first cyclone ever documented in the Arabian Sea, according to WMO.
“When we observe such extremes in individual years, it means that this fits well with current knowledge from the IPCC report on global trends,” Baddour told The Associated Press.
Furthermore, the Washington Post explains what exactly is the WMO and gives us further elements :
The WMO is the United Nations’ authority on weather, climate and water issues. The report was based on information supplied by WMO members and was done with the collaboration of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center, Germany’s National Meteorological Service and the Met Office in Britain. A more comprehensive report on the world’s weather will be released at the end of the year.
There is little doubt that all those meteorological extremes will be discussed widely during the UN meeting on climate change that is due to take place in September.
- The Financial Times : Extreme weather the norm across globe ;
- The IHT : Extreme global weather in line with climate change predictions: UN expert
- The Washington Post : Across Globe, Extremes of Heat and Rain
- Le Figaro : Climat, l’année des extrêmes
For further reading :
- Press release from the WMO : The World Meteorological Organization reports on extreme weather and climate events