The year 2009 is likely to rank in the top 10 warmest years and the decade of the 2000s was the warmest decade since record began in 1850, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Tuesday.
The current nominal ranking of 2009, which doesn't account for uncertainties in the annual averages, places it as the fifth-warmest year and the decade of 2000-2009 was warmer than the decade spanning of the 1990s, which in turn was warmer than the 1980s, the WMO said in a statement.
This year, above-normal temperatures were recorded in most parts of the continents, and only North America experienced conditions that were cooler than average. Given the current figures, large parts of southern Asia and central Africa are likely to have the warmest year on record, the WMO said.
Extreme weather events, including devastating floods, severe droughts, snowstorms, heatwaves and cold waves, were recorded in many parts of the world.
This year, the extreme warm events were more frequent and intense in southern South America, Australia and southern Asia, in particular, the UN agency said.
The climate and development organization Germanwatch on Tuesday ranked Bangladesh, Myanmar and Honduras as the countries most severely affected by extreme weather events from 1990 to 2008. In 2008, Myanmar, Yemen and Vietnam were hit hardest, it said.
Germanwatch's study analyzed the impacts of weather-related loss events -- mainly storms, floods and heatwaves -- for all countries currently negotiating at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.