WMO: Climate change is taking place before our eyesListen /
The rapid melting of the Arctic sea ice and multiple weather and climate extremes occurring worldwide, are pointing to the fact that "climate change is taking place before our eyes."
This conclusion was made by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in its latest statement of global climate.
WMO says the long term trend of rising global temperatures continues, and the first 10 months of 2012 are on record as the ninth warmest period since records began in 1850.
The unprecedented melting of the Arctic Sea Ice saw nearly 12 million square kilometers of ice turning into sea water between March and September this year, and according to WMO, this was an indicator of the far reaching global climatic changes taking place.
Michel Jarraud is head of WMO.
"This year we started with a La Nina which lasted for the first four months of the year, and which has disappeared in between. Despite that we are still amongst the ten warmest periods. The melting of the Arctic ice was much bigger than in previous year, so it is a very significant thing. And it will have implication for the future because this winter the ice will form again, but it will be fresh ice, it will be thin ice. So it will be ice that will vulnerable to future melting. So definitely the message here is that the trend is not only continuing but accelerating with respect to the melting of the Arctic ice and this is linked to the change in the global temperature."
WMO says heat waves in the United States of America and Europe; floods in West Africa and the January to February cold spell in Europe were among the notable extreme weather events in 2012.
Patrick Maigua United Nations Radio Geneva.