A woman digs out potatoes in her former garden, ravaged by wildfires that also burned her house, in Verkhnyaya Vereya village, Russia, 3 August 2010. Source: European Pressphoto Agency

By Alister Doyle and Timothy Gardner; editing by Philip Barbara
Thu Dec 2, 2010 1:02pm EST

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) - This year is on course to be among the top three warmest since records began in 1850, and the past decade was the warmest, in a new sign of man-made climate change, the United Nations said on Thursday.

This year so far was slightly warmer than both 1998 and 2005, the previous top two, but could slip if December is a cool month, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a report issued on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks in Mexico.

"The trend is of very significant warming," WMO head Michel Jarraud told a news conference. Asked if the data were new evidence that emissions of greenhouse gases were warming the climate, he said: "Short answer: yes."

"These are the facts. If nothing is done ... (temperatures) will go up and up," he said, saying that the findings would guide negotiators meeting in Cancun from November 29 to December 10.

The WMO said that land and sea surface temperatures so far in 2010 were 0.55 degree Celsius (1 F) above a 1961-1990 average of 14 degrees Celsius (57.2 degrees F). The years 2001-10 were the warmest decade, it said.

The WMO said that warming has been especially strong in Africa, parts of Asia and parts of the Arctic. Pakistan recorded a record temperature of 53.5 degrees Celsius (128.30 F), the warmest in Asia since 1942. …

2010 to be among three warmest years, U.N. says



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