2014 will be the hottest year on record, the World Meteorological Organization told UN climate delegates in Lima, Peru last week.
“There is no standstill in global warming,” said WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud. “What we saw in 2014 is consistent with what we expect from a changing climate: Record-breaking heat combined with torrential rainfall and floods destroyed livelihoods and ruined lives.”
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Although the books aren’t yet closed on 2014, average surface temperatures between January and October were about 0.86°C above the 1961-1990 average, and global sea surface temperatures were the highest on record, Cushman reports. Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum extent of 5.02 million square kilometres on September 17 and was the sixth-lowest on record.
“All of this information is crucial to the negotiators to understand that nature is not waiting,” said WMO Deputy Secretary General R.D.J. Lengoasa. “The extremes that were projected are indeed becoming reality.”