The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued its “Annual Climate Statement” today in Geneva. There was nothing particularly revelatory: We’re still looking at a looming catastrophe. In fact, for millions, the catastrophe has already occurred. Ask the folks in the Philippines, or California, or Britain, or Australia. Yes, but what about all the cold weather in the Eastern half of the US this year you ask. Well, it’s climate change too: the polar vortex has been weakened by the melting of Arctic ice, allowing cold air to migrate south. (Sorry, denialists.)
The IPCC issued a special report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters exactly two years ago this week. (One week from today, the IPCC will issue its latest report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.)
Today, though, the WMO had a pretty stark series of facts and figures for us. 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest on record. Anomaly? No, it’s part of a clear trend: “Thirteen of the fourteen warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century, and each of the last three decades has been warmer than the previous one, culminating with 2001-2010 as the warmest decade on record.”
The indispensable Climate Central has in-depth coverage of the WMO report. Warming pause? “There is no standstill in global warming,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
For even more depth, go to this interactive map of extremes in 2013.
And you can go to the full report.