The final ranking for 2010 will not become clear until November and December data are available in early 2011, but November global temperatures are similar to those observed in November 2005, suggesting that despite the freezing weather across Europe right now, 2010 is on track for near record levels.
The past 10 years have also been the hottest decade on record.
Michel Jarraud, director general of the WMO, said the global warming trend was now indisputable. When asked whether the findings were indicative of warming caused by human activities he said, “The short answer is yes. There is statistically significant warming above the normal variability.”
But as the data were released at the UN climate talks in Cancún, the predictable and usual political deadlock between the developed world and developing countries was again blatantly obvious.
Developing nations at Cancun want a continuation of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol as a condition for discussions on a new treaty that would encompass the US – which never ratified Kyoto – and impose obligations on major emerging economies.
However Japan has thrown a proverbial spanner in the works by openly opposing continuing Kyoto after its current provisions expire in 2012.
This has prompting the Indian government – who are now emerging as a deal-maker between the two blocks – to say the chance of achieving a “positive outcome” at Cancún was “remote”.
“India is positioning itself as a bridge player” between rich and poor nations, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, who is attending UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, told India’s NDTV news network. “We want to be a bridge between the developed and the developing world.”
Whilst there are no surprises that any deal is remote, the predictability of the outcome is depressing.
Let’s not forget that rifts between developing and developed countries prevented a comprehensive deal at last year’s Copenhagen summit.
So its Cancun is turning into a Groundhog Summit. How many UN climate conferences come and go, without any real action?
The climate sceptics are cock-a-hoop at the thought of failure. The US Senate’s leading sceptic on climate change Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), says “The fact is, nothing is going to happen in Cancun this year and everyone knows it. I couldn’t be happier and poor Al Gore couldn’t be more upset”.
Delegates have one more week to salvage something from the wreckage.