NEWS: World Meteorological Organization says countries must become more resilient to extreme weather
By Ed King
Record temperatures, heavy monsoon rains and rising sea levels are all signs the climate is changing, says the UNâs World Meteorological Organization.
Its 2013 State of the Climate report, published annually, says last year tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest on record, continuing what it says is a âlong term warming trendâ. 13 of the 14 warmest years on record occurred since the year 2000, it adds.
In a statement WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said record levels of greenhouse gases would mean the atmosphere and oceans will warm for centuries to come.
âThere is no standstill in global warming,â he said, referring to a 15-year hiatus in land temperatures. âThe warming of our oceans has accelerated, and at lower depths.
âMore than 90% of excess energy trapped by greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans,â he said, adding: âthe laws of physics are non-negotiable.â
The WMO says the global average surface temperature was 0.5C Â± 0.1C above the 1961â1990 average and 0.03C above the 2001â2010 average.
In the past 12 months Australia experienced its hottest year on record, with Argentina registering its second warmest.
A study by scientists at the University of Melbourne cited by the WMO by concluded Australiaâs record summer was five times as likely as a result of man made climate change.
Jarraud said the surge in storms also demonstrates the need for further investment in forecasting systems and better resilience to further reduce losses of life.
âWe must continue to strengthen preparedness and early warning systems and implement a multi-hazard approach to disaster risk reduction,â he said.
This week UN scientists working on the next instalment of the IPCCâs climate science review meet in Yokohoma, Japan to discuss the scale of future impacts from climate change.
Leaks online indicate the report will warn of ever more dangerous impacts without rapid action to curb carbon emissions, including extreme weather, sea level rise and species extinctions.
âRisks to the overall global economy and Earthâs biodiversity become moderate for warming between 1-2 degrees Celsius and high around 3 degrees (above levels at the start of this century),â one draft says.
âWith or without adaptation climate change will reduce median (crop) yields by 0 to 2% per decade for the rest of this century as compared to a baseline without climate change.â