21 Jan 2011

2010 one of warmest on record

6:23 am on 21 January 2011

The World Meteoreology Organisation says it has now confirmed that 2010 was, on average, one of the three warmest years on record.

The UN organisation says the past decade was also the warmest ever.

WMO says 2010 was 0.53C warmer than the average for the period 1961-90 - a period commonly used as a baseline.

The WMO analysis combines data from NASA and the and National Climatic Data Center in the United States and the Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit in Britain.

Regions experiencing particularly warm conditions during 2010 included Africa, southern and western Asia, eastern Canada and Greenland.

The BBC repoprts there was also a summer heatave in Russia, extensive monsoon flooding in Pakistan and a severe drought in the Amazon.

WMO secretary general Michel Jarraud says the continuing warming trend will lead to more climate extremes.

"The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998," he said.