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Friday, August 10, 2007

UN climate change report predicted this strange 2007 weather

UN report predicted extreme weather - News - UN report predicted extreme weather

Tornado in New York, floods in South Asia fit climate change warning

GENEVA–Flooding in Asia, a cyclone in the Middle East, and extreme temperatures around the globe this year have borne out warnings in a key climate change report, a UN expert says.

"The start of the year 2007 was a very active year in terms of extreme climatic and meteorological events," Omar Baddour, a climatologist with the UN's World Meteorological Organization, said in an interview earlier this week.

In May, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report warning that global warming would increase the number of extreme weather events and cause more natural disasters that will hit the poor hardest.

"When we observe such extremes in individual years, it means that this fits well with current knowledge from the IPCC report on global trends," Baddour said.

Few in New York City would have disagreed yesterday when a series of storms packed high winds, torrential rains and a tornado that touched down several times in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

The tornado, with winds raging up to 217 km/h, ripped off roofs and damaged dozens of buildings as it hopscotched through neighbourhoods at around 6:30 a.m.

The storm, which flooded subway tunnels and underpasses, caused commuter chaos and was blamed for the death of a woman whose car got stuck in an underpass and was hit by another car.

Across the world this year, more serious weather catastrophes have killed many people.

Record storms, floods and heat waves have occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

Hundreds have died and thousands have lost their livelihoods in floods since the start of the year in South Asia, China, Mozambique, Sudan and Uruguay. May to July was the wettest such period in England and Wales since records began in 1766, the UN meteorological organization said. It said two heat waves in southeast Europe in June and July broke records, with temperatures in Bulgaria hitting 45C.

Global surface temperatures in January were the highest since records began. According to UN data, temperatures were 1.89C above the 127-year average.


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