News / Science & Technology

2013 is Seventh Hottest Year, Rising Seas Worsen Typhoon

FILE - World Meteorological Organization (WMO) secretary-general Michel Jarraud (R) gestures  during a press conference in Geneva, Nov. 28, 2012.
FILE - World Meteorological Organization (WMO) secretary-general Michel Jarraud (R) gestures during a press conference in Geneva, Nov. 28, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
— A new United Nations report said 2013 is likely to be one of the 10 warmest years since modern records began in 1850. 

This report is being released to coincide with the U.N. climate change conference in Warsaw, Poland.  Scientists at the World Meteorological Organization make no secret they hope the report will influence governments attending the conference to take strong action to curb climate change.

The WMO report provides a snapshot of regional and national temperatures.  It goes into detail on precipitation, floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, ice cover and sea level.  

WMO Secretary-General, Michel Jarraud said the data indicates an evident warming trend. “This decade, the last decade was the warmest decade on record and what we call cold years now are actually warmer than any warm year before ’98,” he said. 

Jarraud notes atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases reached new highs in 2012.  He said they are expected to reach unprecedented levels again this year, which means the world will continue to get warmer.

The report said surface temperatures are only part of the climate change story.  It says the so-called water cycle of droughts, floods and extreme precipitation also is having a strong impact on this phenomenon.

WMO Chief Jarraud said higher sea levels are making coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges, as the Philippines experienced from Typhoon Haiyan.

“Near the Philippines, the sea level rise over the last 20 years was probably of the order of three to four times bigger than it was globally. The factor of sea level rise itself can be attributed to a large extent to the climate change, which has occurred.  So, in other words, the cyclone itself it is a difficult question, but definitely because of the higher sea level the damage has been more than what it would have been 100 years before under similar wind conditions,” Jarraud stated. 

During the first nine months of 2013, the report finds most of the world’s land areas had above-average temperatures, most notably in Australia, which suffered from a very intense heat wave.  North America, northeastern South America, northern Africa, and much of Eurasia also recorded high temperatures.

The report said record-breaking precipitation occurred in many places in North America, while the southern African countries of Angola and Namibia were gripped by one of the worst droughts in the past 30 years.  But it said above-average rainfall fell over most of central and western parts of the Sahel. 

The WMO report notes Arctic Sea ice recovered slightly after the dramatic and unprecedented melt in 2012, but is still at one of the lowest levels on record.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid