2013 among top warmest yearsListen /
The year 2013 is currently on course to be among the top ten warmest years since modern records began in 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
In its latest Provisional State of the Climate report, WMO says the global warming trend continues to be sustained by increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases which reached new highs in 2012 , and are expected to reach unprecedented levels yet again in 2013.
WMO further says that global sea levels have reached a new record high and are already making coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges as witnessed in the Philippines during Typhoon Haiyan.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud says although rising surface temperatures are only part of the wider picture of our changing climate, their impact is already becoming apparent as manifested by droughts, floods and extreme precipitation.
"This decade was the warmest decade on record and what we call cold years now are actually warmer than any warm years before 98, so therefore this is further confirmation of the fact that warming has certainly not stopped. Near Philippines, the sea level rise over the last 20 years was probably of the order of three to four times bigger than it was globally. It has been rising globally at a rate of about 3 millimetres, 3.2 millimetres per year over the last 30 years, but in this part of the world it has been more like 12 millimetres per year, so it is much higher than the global average and it has most likely contributed to the additional damage."
WMO is however of the view that extreme weather conditions such as Typhoon Haiyan cannot be directly attributed to climate change.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.