By Dan Shapley
A record hot average global temperature recorded so far this year is spawning deadly heat waves, wildfires, and flooding -- and more extreme weather is likely to come if global warming continues unabated. For a list of extreme weather noted by the U.N., click here
or for an interactive map
showing the extreme weather events, click here
That was the sober assessment of the United Nations World Meteorological Association
yesterday. January and April are likely to have set new records for the warmest on record since 1880, according to the association. The U.N. has moved beyond predicting future hazards from climate change, and is now in the business of assessing the impacts on the ground via a new "multi-hazard early warning system" that will monitor and assess "the impacts of climate change and (determine) the adaptation priorities for the most vulnerable countries."
The list of death and destruction from extreme weather this year -- from aggressive monsoons in India to wildfires and heat waves in Europe
-- is striking. The U.N. ties these events to global warming. Some facts:
- 11 of the past 12 years rank among the 12 warmest on record for global surface temperature.
- The rate of warming has doubled in the past 50 years.
- The temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere in the second half of the 20th Century were very likely higher than any other 50-year period in at least 500 years, and likely the highest in at least 1,300 years.
- Concurrent with that, extreme weather events have become more frequent in the past 50 years.
- Unabated global warming will continue to make extreme weather events more frequent.
Your Photos of Extreme Weather Your Photos of England's Flood
England Floods: Flooded Meadow
Young Lovers Caught in Flood
Driving Through the Flood
Children Play in Flooded Underpass
Your Photos of Cyclone Gonu
Tropical Cyclone Gonu
Palm Tree in Cyclone
Streets Flood after Cyclone Gonu
Aftermath of Cyclone Gonu
Your Photo of China's Flood
China After the Flood
The 13 Signs Of Global Warming: Interactive Map