|(CNN) -- Anecdotal
evidence that the world's weather is getting wilder now has
a solid scientific basis in fact following a dramatic global
assessment from the World Meteorological Organization.
released Wednesday by the WMO -- a specialized climate
science agency of the United Nations -- says the world
is experiencing record numbers of extreme weather events,
such as droughts and tornadoes.
the blame firmly at the feet of global warming, the agency
warned that the number and intensity of extreme weather
events could continue to increase.
examples, the WMO said the 562 tornadoes which hit the
United States in May this year was a record -- far higher
than the previous monthly peak of 399 in June 1992.
and wetter conditions than normal also prevailed in the
eastern and southeastern part of the U.S. for much of
May and June.
pre-monsoon heatwave which hit India earlier this year
caused peak temperatures of between 45 and 49 degrees
Celsius (113 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit), killing more
than 1400 people.
Lanka, heavy rainfalls from Tropical Cyclone 01B exacerbated
already wet conditions, causing flooding and landslides
and more than 300 fatalities.
month Switzerland experienced its hottest June in at
least 250 years while in the south of France average
temperatures were between 5 and 7 degrees Celsius (9
to 13 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the long term average.
and Wales also experienced their hottest month since
own none of these events is truly remarkable. But when
viewed together they represent a clear and alarming trend
towards wilder weather, according to the WMO.
record extreme events [high temperatures, low temperatures
and high rainfall amounts and droughts] all go into calculating
the monthly and annual averages which, for temperatures,
have been gradually increasing over the past 100 years," the
WMO said in its statement.
the weather events of 2003 had proved so remarkable,
officials say the organization felt compelled to issue
a generalized warning of the emerging pattern.
said new analysis of data for the northern hemisphere
showed the increase in temperature in the 20th century
was likely to have been the largest in any century during
the past 1,000 years.
is also likely that, in the northern hemisphere, the
1990s were the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year," it
the trend towards warmer globally averaged surface temperatures
has been uneven over the course of the last century,
the trend for the period since 1976 is roughly three
times that for the past 100 years as a whole.
average land and sea surface temperatures in May 2003
were the second highest since records began in 1880," the
year much of Australia was hit by the longest drought
in recorded history, which devastated crop yields and
sparked continual bushfires which threatened major cities.
many parts of China and East Asia were hit by severe
flooding resulting in thousands of deaths.