UN: 2015 temperatures one degree above pre-industrial levels

Average global temperatures rose one degree above pre-industrial levels last year for the first time, the World Meteorological Organization said Monday in Geneva.

The findings by the UN agency were 0.1 degree higher than those published by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week.

The UN agency, which incorporated official US and European data, agrees with the US agency that 2015 was the hottest year since Western record keeping began in the 19th century at the outset of the industrial revolution.

"It is a sobering moment in the history of our planet," said Petteri Taalas, the secretary general of the UN agency.

The UN weather and climate body said last year's global average temperature rose 0.76 degrees above the 1961-1990 average of 14 degrees.

The years since 2011 had been the hottest five-year period on record, it added.

Last year's temperature rise was partly fuelled by an unusually strong El Nino, a weather phenomenon that warms the tropical Pacific Ocean and has been occurring every few years.

"The power of El Nino will fade in the coming months but the impacts of human-induced climate change will be with us for many decades," Taalas said.

He urged countries to improve early disaster-warning systems to prepare for expected extreme weather events.

Last update: Mon, 25/01/2016 - 13:45

More from Science & Tech

Facebook to build data centre in Denmark

The Danish city of Odense and social media giant Facebook announced on Thursday the city was to host a new European...

Scientists say 2016 was warmest on record, for third consecutive time

Last year was the warmest since recordkeeping began in 1880, US government scientists said Wednesday, making 2016...

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket makes first launch since September explosion

An unmanned SpaceX rocket blasted off from a California launch pad on Saturday and delivered 10 satellites into low...

Apple partner Foxconn suffers sales drop amid slow iPhone 7 shipments

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group reported its first-ever annual sales decline late Tuesday, in...

10 years of the iPhone: The smartphone that changed everything

As the late Apple head Steve Jobs appeared on Macworld conference stage on January 9, 2007, attendees were already...