Global Warming: UN Confirms 2013 Sixth Hottest Year Since 1850
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 7, 2014 5:12 PM EST
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the UN's weather agency, has confirmed that the year 2013 had indeed been the world's sixth hottest year since record keeping began in 1850.
As much as global warming is undeniable, the agency said the weather phenomenon will continue to rally on.
The Marshall Islands, a small island state in the Pacific, cries for help as the islands continued to sink due to rising sea levels. Composed of 29 coral islands and atolls in the middle of Australia and Hawaii, the Marshall Islands are currently just 2 metres above sea level. The islands want help from the New Zealand government as the population will be at risk to increasingly intense droughts and storms. (Shown in file photo: Flooding due to climate change)
"The rate of warming is not uniform but the underlying trend is undeniable. Given the record amounts of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, global temperatures will continue to rise for generations to come," Michel Jarraud, WMO secretary-general, said in a statement.
The WMO said that global land and ocean surface temperature in the year 2013 was 0.5 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 average.
"This is confirmation of the trend of global warming of the planet," Mr Jarraud said.
Thirteen of the world's 14 warmest years on record occurred in the 21st century, the hottest of which were year 2005 and 2010. Both years saw temperatures hitting 0.55C above the long-term average.
"Global warming ... is occurring. There is absolutely zero doubt. But more important, it is due to human activities," he told AFP.
"Our action, or inaction, to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases will shape the state of our planet for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren," he said.
WMO likewise warned that global warming may affect the intensity and frequency of rising ocean temperatures.
"More than 90 per cent of the excess heat being caused by human activities is being absorbed by the ocean," the WMO said.
Warming oceans will not only raise sea levels, but could also potentially create huge economic damage and loss of life to coastal populations in future decades, according to the International Panel on Climate Change in 2013.
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