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2 September 2014
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BBC Weather
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greenhouse effect
greenhouse gases
global change
extreme weather
key facts
is it too late

Key Points

  • Global temperatures have risen by around 0.6C over the past 300 years
  • The decade of 1998-2007 is the warmest on record, according to data sources obtained by the World Meteorological Organization
  • The global mean temperature for 2008 was 14.3C, making it the tenth warmest year on a record that dates back to 1850
  • The UKs top 10 warmest years on record (in order) are 2006, 2007, 2003, 2004, 2002, 2005, 1990, 1997, 1949 and 1999
  • Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003, about 3.1mm per year
  • Mountain glaciers in non polar regions have retreated significantly during the 20th Century
  • There is evidence of more precipitation in many parts of the world an increase of 0.5-1% per decade in many mid and high level areas of the northern hemisphere
  • In the same area, there has been a 2-4% increase in the frequency of heavy rainfall events
  • In Asia and Africa there has been an increased frequency and intensity of droughts in the last few decades
  • Drying has been observed in the Sahel (region south of the Sahara), the Mediterranean, southern Africa and parts of southern Asia

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