2013 ranks as 4th warmest year on record

Year also saw range of catastrophic events from Typhoon Haiyan to Arizona wildfires

Destruction in the Philippines’ Eastern Samar province caused by Typhoon Haiyan, one of last year’s catastrophic eventso. Photograph: Rolex Dela Pena/EPA

Destruction in the Philippines’ Eastern Samar province caused by Typhoon Haiyan, one of last year’s catastrophic eventso. Photograph: Rolex Dela Pena/EPA

Thu, Jan 23, 2014, 11:13


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC ) in its Global Climate Report, has released its summary of 2013’s temperature, precipitation, and other extreme weather events.

It found that the world’s climate was certainly extreme – with 2013 ranking as the fourth-warmest year on record (tied with 2003).

The year saw a range of catastrophic events – from Typhoon Haiyan causing more than 6,000 deaths in the Philippines, to severe drought in California, to raging wildfires in Prescott, Arizona.

NCDC found that 2013 was the 37th consecutive year where the average annual global temperature was above the long-term average.

December marked the 346th consecutive month with global average temperatures above the 20th-century average.

In other words, no one younger than 29 has ever experienced a month where temperatures were at or below average.

Most troubling, scientists are increasingly making the connection between human-induced climate change and extreme weather events.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report found that it is very likely that human activities have contributed to the frequency and intensity of global temperature extremes since the middle of the 20th century.

The report also finds that extreme precipitation is expected to increase with warming, and that the probability of heat waves has likely increased substantially in some locations because of climate change.