2014 set to be hottest on record, warns UN weather agency

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View of the area around Ny-Ålesund, located on Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Europe. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

2014 could be the hottest year on record according to UN scientists who've just confirmed a "long-term warming trend" that's likely to cause more extreme weather conditions in future.

Announcing the findings World Meteorological Organization (WMO) chief Michel Jarraud warned of unprecedented sea surface temperatures linked to extreme flooding and storms.

He also said weather models indicated that the arctic ice will likely disappear by the end of the century if not well before.

"If we don't act now the concentration of greenhouse gases will reach a level such that keeping global warming under two degress (Centigrade) will not be possible. So we have to make sure we reduce this emission very quickly so that they reach a maximum concentration over the next five to 10 years and then afterwards that they are reduced significantly to zero equivalent to 2060/2070 about that time frame… Climate is changing without a doubt, we cannot even argue against that, and then more than 95 per cent probability it is due to human activities."  (38″)

The UN agency's findings for 2014 are provisional, given that the year is not yet over.

But the WMO said that if November and December show the same tendency as the rest of the year, then 2014 will likely be the hottest on record, ahead of 2010, 2005 and 1998.

Scientists found that average air temperature from January to October was about 0.57 degrees Centigrade (1.03 Fahrenheit) above the 14 degree Centigrade (57.2 °F) average from 1961-1990.

That trend has picked up in the last 10 years too, WMO scientists warned.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1"40


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