2012 set to be ninth warmest year on record

By RTCC Staff

This year is on track to be the ninth warmest on record, according to data from the World Meteorological Organisation.

So far this year, the world average global temperature is 14.45°C, between 0.1°C and 0.5°C higher than the 1961 to 1990 average.

The latest figures come as nearly 200 governments from across the world meet in Doha, Qatar to debate the future of the Kyoto Protocol and a new global treaty on climate change to replace it in 2020.

The data joins a list of recent reports and findings – including those from the World Bank, the IEA and the UN Environment Programme – which environmentalists say should add urgency to the talks.

Global near-surface temperatures from 1850 to 2012 from Met Office Hadley Centre/Climatic Research Unit HadCRUT4, NASA GISS and NOAA NCDC (Source: Met Office)

Global temperatures in 2012 are expected, however, to be cooler than the average for the past decade, following a la Nina weather event in the first part of the year.

The WMO used the information from three global temperature sets, running from January to October, for its estimate. The final data will not be ready until March 2013.

The figures point to a slow down of warming temperatures since 2000, in comparison to the rapid warming since the 1970s.

“Although the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest on record, warming has not been as rapid since 2000 as over the longer period since the 1970s,” said Dr. Peter Stott, Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution at the Met Office.

“This variability in global temperatures is not unusual, with several periods lasting a decade or more with little or no warming since the instrumental record began.”

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