The global climate in 2011-2015: Hottest period in history-World Meteorological Organisation
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11 تشرين2/نوفمبر 2016 Author :   Protus Nabongo
The globe is heating up

MARRRAKECH, Morocco (PAMACC News) - The period between 2011-2015 has been recorded as the hottest in history with increasingly visible human footprint on extreme weather and climate events with dangerous and costly impacts.

The World Meteorological Organisation  (WMO) report released at the world climate change summit in Marrakech, Morocco, gives a detailed analysis of the global climate that has record temperatures which were accompanied by rising sea levels and declines in Arctic sea-ice extent, continental glaciers and northern hemisphere snow cover.

All these climate change indicators confirmed the long-term warming trend caused by greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide reached the significant milestone of 400 parts per million in the atmosphere for the first time in 2015, according to the WMO report which was submitted to the U.N. climate change conference.

The Global Climate in 2011-2015 also examines whether human-induced climate change was directly linked to individual extreme events.
Of 79 studies published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society between 2011 and 2014, more than half found that human-induced climate change contributed to the extreme event in question. Some studies found that the probability of extreme heat increased by 10 times or more.

"The Paris Agreement aims at limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2 ° Celsius and pursuing efforts towards 1.5 ° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The report confirms that the average temperature in 2015 had already reached the 1°C mark. We just had the hottest five-year period on record, with 2015 claiming the title of hottest individual year. Even that record is likely to be beaten in 2016," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

He added, "The effects of climate change have been consistently visible on the global scale since the 1980s: rising global temperature, both over land and in the ocean; sea-level rise; and the widespread melting of ice. It has increased the risks of extreme events such as heatwaves, drought, record rainfall and damaging floods."

The report highlights some of the high-impact events, citing statistics on losses and damage provided by other United Nations organisations and partners. These included the East African drought in 2010-2012, which led to an estimated 258,000 excess deaths, and the 2013-2015 southern African drought.

Approximately 800 deaths and more than US$40 billion in economic losses were associated with flooding in South-East Asia in 2011. Heatwaves in India and Pakistan in 2015 claimed more than 4,100 lives. Hurricane Sandy, in 2012, led to US$67 billion in economic losses in the United States of America. The deaths of 7,800 people were associated with Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013.

The report was submitted to the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The five-year timescale allows a better understanding of multi-year warming trends and extreme events such as prolonged droughts and recurrent heatwaves than an annual report.

2011-2015 was the warmest five-year period on record globally and for all continents apart from Africa (second warmest).
Temperatures for the period were 0.57 °C (1.03 °F) above the average for the standard 1961–1990 reference period.

The warmest year on record to date was 2015, during which temperatures were 0.76 °C (1.37 °F) above the 1961–1990 average, followed by 2014. The year 2015 was also the first year in which global temperatures were more than 1 °C above the pre-industrial era.

Global ocean temperatures were also at unprecedented levels. Globally averaged sea-surface temperatures for 2015 were the highest on record, with 2014 in second place. Sea-surface temperatures for the period were above average in most of the world, although they were below average in parts of the Southern Ocean and the eastern South Pacific.
A strong La Niña event (2011) and powerful El Niño (2015/2016) influenced the temperatures of individual years without changing the underlying warming trend

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