GENEVA (AP) — The
head of the U.N. weather agency said Monday that recent extreme weather
patterns are "consistent" with human-induced climate change, citing key
events that wreaked havoc in Asia, Europe, the U.S. and Pacific region
secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said his
agency's annual assessment of the global climate shows how dramatically
people and lands everywhere felt the impacts of extreme weather such as
droughts, heat waves, floods and tropical cyclones.
"Many of the
extreme events of 2013 were consistent with what we would expect as a
result of human-induced climate change," he said.
The U.N. agency
called 2013 the sixth-warmest year on record. Thirteen of the 14 warmest
years have occurred in the 21st century.
A rise in sea
levels is leading to increasing damage from storm surges and coastal
flooding, as demonstrated by Typhoon Haiyan, Jarraud said. The typhoon in
November killed at least 6,100 people and caused $13 billion in damage to
the Philippines and Vietnam.
meanwhile, had its hottest year on record and parts of central Asia and
central Africa also notched record highs.
special attention to studies and climate modeling examining Australia's
recent heat waves, saying the high temperatures there would have been
virtually impossible without the emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide
from the burning of coal, oil and gas.
He cited other
costly weather disasters such as $22 billion damage from central European
flooding in June, $10 billion in damage from Typhoon Fitow in China and
Japan, and a $10 billion drought in much of China.
Only a few places
were cooler than normal. Among them was the central U.S.
cited frigid polar air in parts of Europe and the southeast U.S., and the
widest tornado ever observed over rural areas of central Oklahoma, as
being among extreme weather events.
There were 41
billion-dollar weather disasters in the world last year, the second
highest number behind only 2010, according to insurance firm Aon Benfield,
which tracks global disasters.
Jarraud spoke as
top climate scientists and representatives from about 100 governments with
the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change met in Japan to
complete their latest report on global warming's impact.