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2010 is the third warmest year: WMO

Updated: 2010-12-04 16:05
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CANCUN, Mexico - This year will be the third warmest year on record since 1850, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in Cancun Friday.

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Average air and sea surface temperatures in the first 10 months of this year were 0.55 degrees Celsius higher than the figures in 1998 and 0.52 degrees Celsius higher than in 2005, it said in a statement.

The organization also said the decade from 2001 to 2010 was the hottest on record, with temperatures 0.46 degrees higher than the average from 1961 to 1990 and 0.03 degrees higher than in the 10 years to 2009.

Warming has been especially acute in Africa, parts of Asia and the Arctic. The worst-hit areas in each of these continents are the Sahara, west Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic.

In Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, air temperatures averaged 3 degrees Celsius above normal.

In most areas of northern Africa, and an area reaching from the Middle East to central China, temperatures were between 1 and 3 degrees Celsius above normal.