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January 1, 2011

2010 ranked one of top three warmest years in history


January 1, 2011

The year 2010 is almost certain to rank in the top three warmest years since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850. And 2001-2010 is the warmest ten-year period on record, according to data compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The information for 2010 is based on climate data from networks of land-based weather and climate stations, ships and buoys, as well as satellites. The data was collected and disseminated by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the 189 Members of WMO and several collaborating research institutions.
The data revealed that Pakistan experienced the worst flooding in its history as a result of exceptionally heavy monsoon rains. The event principally responsible for the floods occurred from 26-29 July, when four-day rainfall totals exceeded 300 mm over a large area of northern Pakistan centred on Peshawar.
Summer rainfall was also well above normal in western India, and China experienced its most significant monsoon flooding since 1998, with south-eastern China and parts of the northeast most severely affected. The latter floods also extended to the Korean Peninsula. A number of these floods led to significant loss of life, directly as well as through landslides in China, which claimed more than 1,400 lives in Gansu Province. However, monsoon season rainfall averaged over India was only 2% above normal, and it was well below normal in north-eastern India and Bangladesh, which had its driest monsoon season since 1994.
The data further stated there were additional heavy rains further south from 2-8 August which reinforced the flooding. More than 1,500 lives were lost, and over 20 million people were displaced as large parts of Pakistan’s agricultural land were inundated. In terms of the number of people affected, the United Nations rated the flood as the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history. The total monsoon season rainfall for Pakistan was the

fourth-highest on record, and the highest since 1994.
Global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature for 2010 (January-October) is currently estimated at about 0.55C or 0.99F (plus or minus 0.11C/0.2F) above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14.00C/57.2F. Over the ten years from 2001 to 2010, global temperatures have averaged 0.43C above the 1961-1990 average, the highest value yet recorded for a 10-year period.
Recent warming has been especially strong in Africa, parts of Asia, and parts of the Arctic; the Saharan/Arabian, East African, Central Asian and Greenland/Arctic Canada sub-regions have all had 2001-10 temperatures 1.2 to 1.4C above the long-term average, and 0.7C to 0.9C warmer than any previous decade.
It pointed out that surface air temperatures over land were above normal across most parts of the world. The most extreme warm anomalies occurred in two major regions. The first extended across most of Canada and Greenland, with mean annual temperatures 3C or more above normal in parts of west Greenland and the eastern Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic.
The second covered most of the northern half of Africa and South Asia, extending as far east as the western half of China, with annual temperatures 1 to 3C above normal over most of the region. Many parts of both regions had their warmest year on record, including large parts of northern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and southwest Asia (with Turkey and Tunisia having their warmest year on record), as well as much of the Canadian Arctic and coastal Greenland.
It stated four of the five sub-regions which are wholly or partly in Africa (West and Southern Africa, the Saharan/Arabian region and the Mediterranean) are on course for their warmest year on record, along with South and Central Asia, and Greenland/Arctic Canada. Temperatures averaged over Canada have also been the highest on record.
Only limited land areas had below-normal temperatures in 2010, the most notable being parts of western and central Siberia in Russia, parts of southern South America, interior Australia, parts of northern and western Europe, eastern China and the southeast United States. It was the coolest year since 1996 for the northern European region, and since 1998 for northern Asia, mainly due to below-normal temperatures during the winter.

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