2017 set to be globally one of hottest years on record

2017 set to be globally one of hottest years on record

This will be one of the hottest years on record, according to provisional figures from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) which has said "extraordinary" weather events in 2017 are the direct result of climate change.

And in a year so far marked by many high-impact events including catastrophic hurricanes and floods as well as debilitating heatwaves and drought, the WMO warned the long-term indicators of climate change - such as increasing Carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level rise and ocean acidification - continue unabated.

Arctic sea-ice coverage remains below average and previously stable Antarctic sea-ice extent was at or near a record low.

This means 2017 as a whole is likely to be the second or third hottest since records began, with 2016 set to remain the warmest ever, propelled by the powerful El Niño that year.

The WMO statement - which covers January to September - was released on the opening day of United Nations climate change conference in Germany's old capital. A few places had record cold against the overall warming trend, such as -25.4C (-13.7°F) in Bariloche, Argentina, in July. "We have witnessed extraordinary weather", WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. Majority of these internal displacements were associated with floods and occurred in the Asia-Pacific region.

Taalas mentioned the powerful Atlantic hurricanes like Irma, Jose and Maria that have besieged the Caribbean and the USA, the record-breaking temperatures exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit in South Asia and the Middle East, monsoons in South Asia that killed 1,200, and the drought in Somalia that has led to a vicious cholera outbreak. "The impacts of extreme weather this year give us a taste of things to come under a warming climate", said Richard Betts, a professor of climate impacts at the Met Office Hadley Centre in England, commenting on the report.

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From November 2016 to June 2017, nearly 761,000 displaced people were recorded by the UNHCR to be drought-related.

The latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook indicates that adverse consequences are concentrated in countries with relatively hot climates.

While there is no clear evidence climate change is making hurricanes such as Harvey more or less frequent, it is likely human-induced global warming is making rainfall more intense and rising sea levels worsen storm surges, the WMO said.

Parts of southern Europe, North Africa, parts of eastern and southern Africa and the Asian part of Russian Federation experienced record temperatures.

WMO now uses 1981-2010 instead of the previous 1961-1990 baseline as it is more representative of current climatic conditions and allows for more consistent reporting of information from satellite and reanalysis systems (some of which do not extend back to 1960) alongside more traditional data sets based on surface-observations.

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