Greenland warmer than ever

Despite freezing temperatures and snow lashing many parts of Europe, delegates at this year’s climate change conference say 2010 has been one of the hottest years on record. According to the latest data released by the World Meteorology Organisation (WMO) at the conference in Cancun, Mexico, warmer than usual temperatures have been recorded in Greenland, Canada and East Africa.

Sea and land surface temperatures have been among the highest since 1850 and final analysis early next year will confirm whether 2010 was warmer that the two previous hottest years, 1998 and 2005.

“The deviation from normal temperatures ranged from 1-3 degrees centigrade which is very significant. This may be due to climate change induced by humans,” said the WMO’s Secretary General Michel Jarraud.

The report also indicated that the last decade has been the warmest in recorded history, prompting calls for faster action against climate change. Progress is, however, currently being hampered by disputes between developed and developing countries.

The WMO also reported an increase in extreme weather events such as floods and drought, and the highest level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times. “Greenhouse gas concentrations have reached record levels despite the economic slowdown. They would have been even higher without the international action taken to reduce them,” said Jarraud.