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2010 Warmest Year on Record Globally and for Canada, Particularly

By William Kaplowitz

On January 20, 2011, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), an agency of the United Nations, reported that 2010 was the hottest year on record. According to the WMO, the global average temperature in 2010 was .95 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1961-1990 average. The 2010 average was slightly hotter than the two most recent records set in 1998 and 2005. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998, noted the WMO's Secretary General. The WMO also reported that there was less arctic sea ice cover in December than ever previously observed.

The increases over previous average temperatures were even greater in Canada. According to preliminary data released through the Canadian government's 2010 Annual Summary of Climate Monitoring and Data Analysis on January 10, 2011, the 2010 national average daily temperature in Canada was 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above average. In most of Northeastern Canada, including much of Quebec and the territory of Nunavut, the 2010 average daily temperature was over 7 degrees Fahrenheit above historical averages. Four of the ten warmest years on record have occurred within the past decade, and thirteen of the past twenty years have made the list of the twenty hottest years in Canadian history.

The report from Environment Canada is available at: http://www.ec.gc.ca/adsc-cmda/default.asp?lang=En&n=77842065-1

More information on the WMO report is available at: http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_906_en.html