The world is warming at an unprecedented speed. The World Meteorological Society said 2002 is the second warmest year on record. Scientists with the organization expect the coming years to keep getting hotter.
The World Meteorological Organization said 2002 will supplant last year as the second warmest year in the 143 years that information of this kind has been recorded. The year 1998 is the hottest year on record.
The head of the organization's World Climate Program, Ken Davidson, says the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1987 and nine of them since 1990. "During these past 24 years, we have had continually increasing temperatures and this increase is unprecedented. That includes ice core samples and sea bed sampling, sampling of the mud, etc. and tree ring samples," Mr. Davidson said.
He said the World Meteorological Organization agrees with international scientific assessments that global warming is occurring as a result of man's influence. "There are many influences that we have on the climate we experience. The influences of increasing urbanization, we all know it is warmer in the cities than it is in the countryside. That is an influence on the climate where we live. We have the greenhouse gas influence as well," he said.
Greenhouse gases result from the emission of carbon dioxide and other gases into the earth's atmosphere.
The report says many parts of the world experienced unusual weather this year. Most of Asia, for example, was warmer than usual.
It says parts of Africa experienced unusually heavy rains, while other parts were hit with unusually dry weather. In parts of central Europe, record rains caused more than 100 deaths and billions of dollars in damage. Meanwhile, large areas of North and South America suffered severe drought.