Sceptre International Group Limited – Britain Records One of The Coldest Winters But World Records Hottest Year in History

Britain has been blanketed by the heaviest snowfall in 50 years. The picture [right], gives an impression of just how deep snow has been across most parts, including the southern belt of England. However, global average temperatures recorded up to the end of October show that in two of the three data sets used, which are American, 2010 has been clearly the hottest year ever, while in the third set, which is British, it is running equal with the previous hottest year on record, 1998.

It is possible the position might change when the final figures for November and December have been factored in, although analysis has already shown that November temperatures for the world were running at “near record levels”, the WMO said.

Releasing the figures at the UN Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico, the WMO said the global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature for 2010 (January-October) “is currently estimated at 0.55C (0.99F) above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14C (57.2F)”.

It added: “At present, 2010’s nominal value is the highest on record, just ahead of 1998 (January-October anomaly 0.53C) and 2005 (0.52C).”

The WMO’s official judgment is cautious, saying merely that “the year 2010 is almost certain to rank in the top three warmest years since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850.”

However, even if this year’s final position is not beyond doubt, it is already certain that the past decade is the hottest 10-year period in the instrumental record. “Over the 10 years from 2001 to 2010, global temperatures have averaged 0.46°C above the 1961-90 average, 0.03°C above the 2000-09 mean, and the highest value yet recorded for a 10-year period,” the WMO said.

Michael Jarraud, the WMO’s director-general, said the fact that the last decade had been the hottest ever was an indicator of a man-made impact on the global climate. “Based on climate models, it cannot be explained unless you take human emissions of greenhouse gases into account,” he said.

While Britain has been relatively cool in 2010 – our coolest year since 1996, along with a number of northern European countries – in many other parts of the world, temperatures have been abnormally high, and national records have been broken.

In Russia, the unprecedented heat wave of July and August is thought to have resulted in about 11,000 excess deaths in Moscow alone, where July mean temperatures were 7.6C above normal, making it the city’s hottest month on record by more than 2C.

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