Last decade was warmest ever recorded

Posted: 9 December 2009

The first decade of this century has been, by far, the warmest decade ever recorded according to figures released in Copenhagen yesterday by the UK Met Office.

Global average temperatures 1850-2009
Global average temperatures 1850-2009
The figures show that - despite 1998 being the warmest individual year - the last ten years have clearly been the warmest period in the 160-year record of global surface temperature, maintained jointly by the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Similar results are revealed in the independent analyses made by the United States National Climatic Data Center and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

"These figures highlight that the world continues to see global temperature rise, most of which is due to increasing emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and clearly shows that the argument that global warming has stopped is flawed" says the Met Office.

Separately, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) revealed that 2009 looks set to become another top-ten warm year according to latest figures, with a provisional warming of 0.44°C above the long-term average of 14.0°C.

2009 has been warmer than 2008, owing to the emergence of El Niño conditions in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, and is expected to be the fifth-warmest year in the instrumental record that dates back to 1850.