UN reports extreme weather and climate this year


New York : Record extremes in weather and climate have been recorded worldwide in the first half of this year, with land surface temperatures ranked the warmest on record since 1880, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Tuesday.

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Temperatures in January were 1.89 degrees Celsius warmer and 1.37 degrees warmer in April than the averages for those months, the organization said.

Many regions also suffered extremely heavy rain that led to flooding, WMO said. Heavy rainfall and floods hit India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the June-July period, with more than 350 millimetres of rainfall recorded in some places due to what the WMO called monsoon depression.

The organization said monsoon extremes and incessant rains have caused large-scale flooding across South Asia, killing more than 500 people, displacing more than 10 million others and destroying cropland, livestock and property.

Heavy floods ravaged southern China in June, affecting more than 13 million people and killing an estimated 120 people.

Britain suffered the wettest season since recordkeeping began in 1766, with 406 millimetres in rainfall in the May-July period. WMO said the last recorded extreme rainfall was 349 millimetres in 1789.

Germany had its wettest weather in May with 126 millimetres in rainfall. The average rainfall during that period from 1961 to 1990 was 71 millimetres.

Southeastern Europe suffered two extreme heat waves in June and July with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, killing dozens of people and causing forest fires across the region. WMO said Bulgaria set a new record of 45 degrees on July 23.

Moscow had a temperature of 32.9 degrees on May 28, the highest May temperature since 1891.

“In many European countries, April was the warmest ever recorded with the temperatures reaching more than 4 degrees Celsius over and above the long-term mean in some areas,” WMO said.

Another UN organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in studies published this year that the warming of the climate is unequivocal, with global surface temperatures rising about 0.8 degrees in the past 100 years.