Global temperatures near record

2012-03-23 18:00

Geneva - Human activity kept global temperatures close to a record high in 2011 despite the cooling influence of a powerful La Niña weather pattern, the World Meteorological Organisation said on Friday.

On average, global temperatures in 2011 were lower than the record level hit the previous year but were still 0.40°C 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 Niña, 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 UN climate talks in Durban to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Tornado seasons

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

The WMO, part of the UN, 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 US 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 - 2010 was the warmest ever recorded across all of the world's continents ahead of the release of its Decadal Global Climate Summary.

The year 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 US agencies said.

  • Alisha - 2012-03-23 18:16

    All rubbish. We have had a couple months of extra powerful sun activity and strong flares and abnormally high solar radiation. It has nothing to do with green house gasses.

      neil.vdbijl - 2012-03-23 21:52

      this is why rocket scientists shouldn't predict the weather..

      amanda.victor2 - 2012-03-24 08:35

      There has be NO warming for at least the last 10 years. This is more propaganda from the WMO. They keep changing the goal posts every time the planet doesn't behave the way they predicted. The IPCC figures have already been shown to be lies, lies and more lies. This is all to keep the hysteria going so they can tax you more.

      andrew.arnesen - 2012-03-24 09:58

      Solar flares aren't causing temperature increases... I wish that people would think before they post - do you really think that with all our activities that we are NOT going to affect the environment? The evidence is clear and undeniable that the planet is heating up and even if we don't know the exact mechanism, we are responsible. When will you stop denying that there is a problem? When half the animals and plants have died out and the largest cost of any household is their air-conditioning?

      Morgaen - 2012-03-24 10:04

      @ProfAndyZulu : Maybe your biggest expense is aircondtioning, for all the Hot Air that you spew. Your posting is nothing but emotional drivel. You offer no proof whatsoever that the so-called "global-warming" is manmade. On what basis do you state that solar activity isn't responsible for temperature changes? Clearly you are one of Al Gore's sheeple.

      Morgaen - 2012-03-24 12:32

      @Meme : Declarations don't equal Proof, moron!

      Ernst - 2012-03-24 12:52

      Yeah Alisha and what exactly is your expertise in climate science? Did you even take science at school? You sound like all the other climate deniers (i.e. science deniers). Just repeating the same debunked climate myths like a parrot. Perhaps you should educate yourself because you are misinformed:

      Morgaen - 2012-03-24 15:28

      Meme did you take a break from teabagging this afternoon, to pontificate about the global warming scam darling? Must say the green does match your pink.

      sven.gohre - 2012-03-24 16:25

      @meme, you are telling a few "Porky Pies". Firstly there are more than 650 published papers refuting man-made Global Warming. secondly there has been 0 (ZERO) warming of the planet since 2000 and since 1886 just 0,5 degrees C warming, thirdly you fail to mention that it has been far hotter twice since the last Glacial Ice-age and finally, and most importantly, even if your assertions had been accurate, they would not have proven that people are creating a global warming crisis. They would only have provided evidence that the planet is warming, which I agree it has over the last 150 years. Considering that the Little Ice Age, which lasted from roughly 1300 to 1900 AD, brought the coldest planetary temperatures during the past 10,000 years, it is a very good thing that temperatures are rising. Indeed, deserts are shrinking, forests are expanding, growing seasons are lengthening, soil moisture is improving, crop production is setting records, etc., etc. So I do not mind you attacking me for as you put it "When you deny climate change you stand against the data and declarations by all leading climate scientists." You should note that these "Leading Climate scientists are all given government grants so that they can milk the sheeples with so called "Green Taxes" maybe the denialists are not the fools after all.

      Ernst - 2012-03-25 11:52

      @Meme: Spot on!

      marius.dumas - 2012-04-12 00:07

      ProfAndyZulu - with all respect I think you are the one who need to think first. Alisha is quite correct although I can see how it could confuse someone. But what I understand she meant was that, what is scientifically quite correct and accepted. The increase in irradiation is caused by what she call "solar activities" this is also known as the current solar maxima. solar irradiance is on it highest and have been increasing over the last 80 years. The irradiance is affected by the 11, 22 and 86 year solar cycles. The solar maxima is associated by the increase in sun spots and solar flares. The solar flares it self has no direct effect on climate. But can be associate with solar activity as she puts it. The last solar minima where all sun spots have disappeared is scientifically and historically known as Maunder Minimum between 1645 and 1715. This is occurrence is associated with what we know today as the "little ice age" in the northern hemisphere back then. The long term effect of solar cycles on climate is very clear however the climatologists testifies that it is an extremely complex and difficult phenomena to explain in shorter term climate effects. The uncertainties about solar cycles and the effect on shorter term climate is difficult and NASA created the SORCE satellite project to study the effects of solar cycles on climate. Although we know solar cycles are affecting climate, hopefully soon we will know exactly in which way.

      marius.dumas - 2012-04-12 00:17

      PeggySven - You are spot-on!

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-23 18:59

    Unfortunately for RSA the public is so politically affiliated , It may take a century before RSA sees a GREEN party in Parliament. The Environment is on the back-burner and before RSA sees real Equality it would probably be too late to may a difference to the Environmental habitats, Flora and Fauna. Make note of how much China has acquired of the Southern African continent to ensure it's growth for the foreseeable future.

  • sven.gohre - 2012-03-23 20:47

    As my comment here has been deleted by News24' Secrecy Act police, here is one I posted on a similar article. the planet has only increased by 0.8C since 1880, when records were started, so I am not sure where your 3C heating comes from. In fact in 2000 when this whole "Hockey-stick" explanation of Global Warming started, they predicted a 5C increase in the Earth's temperature by 2015. In fact there has been 0C (ZERO degrees Celsius) of warming since then. The whole theory of Global Warming will be discredited by 2015 if things stay as they are. I cannot wait to here how they are going to spin the failure of Global Warming when it does not rise by 4.5C in the next 3 years. I am sure by then we will see global cooling as we are overdue another ice-age and not a warming cycle. Also more scientific research should be done on the effects of the sun's cycles on the earth's temperature and stop all those that want us to return to the age before electricity and mass production before they destroy civilisation as we know it.

      Morgaen - 2012-03-24 09:05

      These pr*cks can't even get the weekend weather prediction right yet are predicting climatological trends centuries ahead, based on outdated, rigged, and badly coded Fortran 77.

      Ernst - 2012-03-24 13:02

      @PeggySven: "The whole theory of Global Warming will be discredited by 2015 if things stay as they are...." Can you even distinguish between scientific fact and fiction in what you read over the internet? How accurate is your source of information? Is your source of information based on PEER-REVIEWED scientific literature? Could you please provide me with citations to peer reviewed scientific papers that back up the claims you are making. Please, I beg you. Perhaps you should see the following:

      Hermann - 2012-03-24 13:17

      Welcome to the "we are the censored" club.

      sven.gohre - 2012-03-24 16:35

      @ Ernst, try this peer reviewed paper by NASA, the same source as the above article, it makes very interesting reading. I hope that you now take the time to forget the university of Google and actually look at proper scientific journals and published papers.

      Ernst - 2012-03-25 11:44

      @ PeggySven: Where is the paper you are referring to on What is the date that this paper got published? Has it been published recently?

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-23 22:02

    You look at Human evolution and you see we went from the stone age to the iron age to the Industrial revolution (Oil age) however now we need to take the next step. This cleaner energy has been around for decades and the Oil Barons who have all the dosh are continuing to bend the general public in ALL countries over a barrel of oil by manipulating governments into a status quot of oil dependence. Wind,ocean and solar technology is serving most European countries right now as they have the backbone to disagree with the Yanks....Just wind power generates 21% of stationary electricity production in Denmark,[5] 18% in Portugal,[5] 16% in Spain,[5] 14% in Ireland[9] and 9% in Germany in 2010.

      sven.gohre - 2012-03-23 22:08

      bluzulu, those figures are when they are actually generating electricity, which is about 20% of the time. For the rest of the time they are generating 0 Watts of electricity, either because there is not enough wind, or they are locked down because the wind is blowing to strongly. It is a very expensive form of electricity generation as well as destroying the natural environment and killing millions of birds and bats worldwide.

      Sam - 2012-03-23 22:27

      PeggySven, you sound like you get your information from the Heartland Institute.

      bluzulu - 2012-03-23 22:45

      @ peggy, These are geared props to turn at a static rate.

      Morgaen - 2012-03-24 09:00

      I wonder if these greenie hippies who support wind power realise which country the ore for the Neodynium-containing magnets used in the generators come from, and what toxic processes are used in it's extraction? Over 1 TON of this element is used PER generator. Go hug a tree you bunnies.

      Ernst - 2012-03-24 12:54

      @William and @Morgaen: Typical comments of the flat earth society to which you belong. Leave the science for the climate scientists with PHD's that actively publish in peer reviewed scientific journals, and stop promoting your science denialist rubbish. You guys sound like f@$%ing parrots. Repeating the same debunked garbage of climate denialist websites. Get a scientific education FFS.

  • Alfred - 2012-03-24 07:24

    Its amazing how whenever global warming is mentions the Joe blogs come out of the woodwork with minimum education and knowledge of meteorology and thermodynamics and claim to know more than all the scientific journals, institutes and universities on the planet. Talk about delusions of grandeur. They make these absurd claims that Al Gore has corrupted 95% of all the scientist on the planet and got them all to co-operate in this massive conspiracy to con everyone for their money and to cause the collapse of capitalism. Yeah 95% of all the people with PhD's in science are crooked scammers! Its also amazing that apparently Al Gore and a few solar and wind generater firmes have managed to outspend all the oil, coal and motor companies in the world. Its scary how many tinfoil hat wearing, low I.Q., ignorant, delusional nutcases there are out there.

      amanda.victor2 - 2012-03-24 08:37

      Oh Alfred, you crack me up. The 95% you quote are all scientist who agree. There are even more who disagree. Stop being so gullible and open your mind. You obviously also vote for the ANC.

      Morgaen - 2012-03-24 09:02

      Mmm methinks Alfred (Al for short) is a graduate of the University of Google. Good going Al, go hug a tree but leave the squirrels alone see?

      Sam - 2012-03-24 09:02

      Hardly following blindly. The Heartland Institute, funded by big industry, pays scientists to try and present evidence to counter global warming and obfuscate the issue. This is the same tactic that the Heartland Institute used to try and create public doubt about the links between smoking and cancer in the 90s. Then they were funded by big Tobacco. You guys accuse people who listen to the scientific community (which is in overwhelming agreement about the warming of the earth being linked to humans) of being sheep yet you're actually being played by big corporations.

      Morgaen - 2012-03-24 09:09

      And which "Big Corporation"-manufactured computer are you browsing the internet with Sam? if you don't like our civilization I am sure there are some caves still available.

      Ernst - 2012-03-24 12:42

      @William and @Morgaen: Typical comments of the flat earth society to which you belong. Leave the science for the climate scientists with PHD's that actively publish in peer reviewed scientific journals, and stop promoting your science denialist rubbish. You guys sound like f@$%ing parrots. Repeating the same debunked garbage of climate denialist websites. Get a scientific education FFS.

      Morgaen - 2012-03-24 15:09

      @Ernst : We ALL know that these so-called climate "scientists" had willfully, and with malice of forethought, suppressed the true facts in order to support their political aims of returning us back to the stone age. Climategate revealed the truth about these charlatans. Memorable lines from their leaked emails being "hide the decline (in surface temperatures)", and "it is a travesty (that the data doesn't support our theory)". Micael Mann, Hansen, Gleick et al are responsible for the biggest scientific hoax ever to be played on humanity. Su my suggestion to you, moron, is that you get yourself a "scientific education" and leave the bunnies alone.

      Sam - 2012-03-24 19:08

      @Morgaen Care to read the rest of those emails to us or are you just quoting the parts that were leaked by the organizations behind the hacking? Yes, the same ones that have convinced you that it's all just a 'theory' and that lots of scientists disagree. The fact that you see anyone who believes in climate-change as being a tree-hugging hippie shows how misguided you are. You're a sheep doing exactly what you've been taught to do. Right now there's a bunch of billionaires drinking 20 year old single malt, laughing and toasting their success in getting people like you to further their cause. How easily you were duped.

      Ernst - 2012-03-25 11:18

      @William: "Ernst, its science, pure science. Flat earth society seems to be more of an appropriate term to yourself. Who do you think pays top scientists? Have you heard of job security? CO2 is about 392 parts per million, effectively a trace gas. You make noise, go do the maths." Your argument that scientists are in it for the money is laughable and nothing more than a sweeping neanderthal statement. A climate scientist with expertise in modelling and statistics will earn much much more money working for corporations on wall street than working for a university....DUH!!! As far as co2 being an insignificant "trace" gas is concerned, please read: DUHHH!!! "CO2 don't have DNA that can link it to its source. Tectonic plate movement is a major cause of Volcanoes and also warming the oceans, releasing millions of tons of methane and CO2 and because ocean currents are being disturbed by these natural events, it will effect global climate and is doing that at the moment. CO2 taxes, carbon trading and emission trading has a carbo.." Wow!!! You are such an expert and 98% of climate scientists actively publishing in peer reviewed journals are all stupid and wrong.

      Ernst - 2012-03-25 11:34

      @Morgean: "Su my suggestion to you, moron, is that you get yourself a "scientific education" and leave the bunnies alone." Wow, this is the kind of comment one would expect from a kid in kindergarten. Is this the best you can do? "We ALL know that these so-called climate "scientists" had willfully, and with malice of forethought, suppressed the true facts in order to support their political aims of returning us back to the stone age. Climategate revealed the truth about these charlatans. Memorable lines from their leaked emails being "hide the decline (in surface temperatures)", and "it is a travesty (that the data doesn't support our theory)"." Another idiot that believes in the fake scandal of climate gate. Let me spell it out to you: Climategate was a smear campaign funded by special interest groups (oil, coal and gas) to delay action on manmade global warming. Anybody can steal e-mails and quote them out of context to create a fake "conspiracy". Perhaps you should read the following:

      Ernst - 2012-03-25 19:12

      @William: No, you are wrong. 98% of climate scientists, actively publishing in PEER REVIEWED scientific journals, agree that there is a link between human activity and current warming and climatic change. I am sorry, but there is NO way you can explain this away. You can belittle be all you want and equate me with being a christian trying to convince you but there is one unfortunate fact: Religion is NOT backed up by scientific evidence whereas everything I have mentioned is backed up PEER REVIEWED scientific research. Sorry to disappoint you. In addition, did you actually read the links I provided. Furthermore, could you please provide me with citations to peer reviewed scientific literature to back up your claims. And lastly, as for the scientific consensus on manmade global warming please see the following: Perhaps you should write down your findings and present them to the following prestigious institutions and see how far you get: Continued.

      Ernst - 2012-03-25 19:14

      @William: Continued. Scientific organizations endorsing the consensus The following scientific organizations endorse the consensus position that "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities": American Association for the Advancement of Science American Astronomical Society American Chemical Society American Geophysical Union American Institute of Physics American Meteorological Society American Physical Society Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO British Antarctic Survey Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Environmental Protection Agency European Federation of Geologists European Geosciences Union European Physical Society Federation of American Scientists Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies Geological Society of America Geological Society of Australia International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics National Center for Atmospheric Research National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Royal Meteorological Society Royal Society of the UK The Academies of Science from 19 different countries all endorse the consensus. 11 countries have signed a joint statement endorsing the consensus position: Continued.

      Ernst - 2012-03-25 19:17

      @William: Continued. Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil) Royal Society of Canada Chinese Academy of Sciences Academie des Sciences (France) Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany) Indian National Science Academy Accademia dei Lincei (Italy) Science Council of Japan Russian Academy of Sciences Royal Society (United Kingdom) National Academy of Sciences (USA) (12 Mar 2009 news release) A letter from 18 scientific organizations to US Congress states: "Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science."

      Ernst - 2012-03-25 19:18

      @William: Royal Society of New Zealand Polish Academy of Sciences

      Ernst - 2012-03-26 10:51

      @William: Have you ever published a scientific paper in a peer reviewed journal. Do you know the meaning of "peer-review"?

      Ernst - 2012-03-26 11:11

      @William: As for your comment on water vapor. Maybe you should read the following:

  • Fidel - 2012-03-25 18:04

    Why is it incomprehensible for earth to be "warming up" if we are willing to concede that the current weather patterns are a continuous development of what has been happening since the ice age. Is it not a natural phenomenon for the earth to be warming up?

      Ernst - 2012-03-25 19:21

      @Fidel and William: The climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing. Arguing that the climate changed before and so humans cant be responsible is like arguing that fires always started naturally, therefore man cant start fires.

      Ernst - 2012-03-26 10:49

      @William: May I suggest reading the following link. Repeating the same debunked arguments only show your ignorance.

      marius.dumas - 2012-04-12 11:58

      Ernst - you should answer Williams question please. We actually want ot hear the answer from you. What is the effect that comes after an ice age called what recovers the earth from the icy conditions?

  • ludlowdj - 2012-03-26 10:39

    misrepresentation of the truth as normal. Studies clearly show that there has been no significant global warming of any sort in the last ten years. As usual science gives the answers wanted by those paying for the research.

      Ernst - 2012-03-26 10:53

      @Ludlowdj: You repeat the same debunked trash everytime you comment on this issue. "Studies clearly show that there has been no significant global warming of any sort in the last ten years." What studies? Could you provide me with citations that point to peer reviewed research that backs up what you are saying?

      marius.dumas - 2012-04-11 23:47

      @Ernst you are right, it's not studies that actually showed it. It is the temperature records from NASA and NOAA satellites that shows it up to date to March 2012. It's not studies or theories, it's only the recorded facts.

  • marius.dumas - 2012-04-11 23:50

    Oh the global temperature records and statistical analysis is contradicting the article completely. NOAA satellites still show that 1998 was the warmest and that the trend is changing downward to most likely cool us down first for a while. This is not global warming deniers data. It is only the real records from NASA. The records are illustrated by Dr. Roy Spencer (Climatologist, author and former NASA scientist offering comments about global warming) To learn more about this top scientist and climatologist’s personal achievements See the global temperature records up to March 2012, Here you may find more about his insight to what global warming is really all about. to the global warming alarmist Meme, MemeMan, Ernst I know you guys will try to shoot it down with all you have. Copy and pasting the same old arguments. But luckily many of us knows better by now.

      marius.dumas - 2012-04-12 09:16

      Here are a few titles for the solar and astrophysics denialists Small Fluctuations In Solar Activity, Large Influence On Climate What do we really know about the Sun-climate connection? Another Little Ice Age? Solar activity and climate change Harvard astrophysicist: Sunspot activity correlates to global climate change

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