October 29, 2010

2010 And ‘Exceptional Year’ For Wild Weather

2010 has been an "exceptional" year for weather disasters with the highest number of weather-related events since records began being kept, German reinsurance company Munich Re said Thursday.

"This year really has been a year of weather records," Peter Hoeppe, an expert from Munich Re's Geo Risks Research department, told AFP. "The first nine months of the year have seen the highest number of weather-related events since Munich Re started keeping records," he added.

Hoeppe said the continuing pattern of global warming was contributing to the natural disasters.

This year has been the warmest on record as well since measurements began 130 years ago. Temperature records were set in Russia, with the mercury tipping 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time.

Just last month, a new temperature record was also set in Los Angeles, reaching a scorching 113 degrees. "It is clear that global warming is getting worse," said Hoeppe.

Hoeppe did not expect an upcoming climate meeting in Cancun to provide much help for the growing issue of global warming, following last year's summit in Copenhagen that was a "genuine catastrophe."

The Copenhagen meeting, in December 2009, ended bitterly amid much debate between developed and developing nations over who should carry the burden of ending global warming.

"Our expectations are lower than they were one year ago in Copenhagen. In Copenhagen, there had been a commitment to success and there were over 100 heads of state. That simply won't be the case in Cancun," said Hoeppe.

The United States currently has no plan on CO2 reduction, "and as long as the United States doesn't move, then China will not be prepared to move and these are the two main players," he said.

The upcoming Cancun meeting is meant for nations to work toward a goal for a new protocol that would replace the Kyoto accord which expires in 2012.


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