The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) study made the year 2015 is warmest year on record because of climate cycle El Nino and also on account of human-induced global warming.
(*El Nino is a weather phenomenon resulting from warming in Pacific Ocean regions, leading to atmospheric changes)
- Global average surface temperature in 2015 reaches the significant milestone of 1° Celsius above the pre-industrial era.
- The 2011-15 period has been the warmest five-year period on record with many extreme weather events especially heat waves influenced by climate change.
Levels of greenhouse gases in atmosphere reached new highs and in the northern hemisphere, during spring 2015, the three-month global average concentration of carbon dioxide crossed the 400 parts per million barrier for the first time.
A preliminary estimate based on data from January to October shows the global average surface temperature for 2015 so far was around 0.73°C above the 1961-1990 average of 14°C and approximately 1°C above the pre-industrial 1880-1899 period.
- South America is having its hottest year on record, as is Asia, while Africa and Europe are having their second hottest.
- Large areas of Central America and the Caribbean recorded below average rainfall, even as Argentina and Peru were affected by heavy rain and floods.
- WMO also took note of the major heat wave that affected India and Pakistan in May and June, with average maximum temperatures exceeding 42°C and touching 45°C in some areas.
- Last summer 2,500 people died in India during a heat-wave blamed on climate change, while Pakistan recorded another 2,000 fatalities as temperatures soared as high as 49 C.
Other increasingly severe weather events such as floods, droughts and tropical storms were developing in line with the WMO’s expectations, based on climate models.