2010 so far "tied for hottest year"

Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:36pm GMT

* 2010 tied for hottest year alongside 2005, 1998

* Scientists watch decade trend rather than individual years

By Gerard Wynn and Alister Doyle

LONDON/OSLO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - This year is so far tied for the hottest year in a temperature record dating back to 1850 in a new sign of a warming trend, the three major institutes which calculate global warming estimates told Reuters.

U.N. climate talks resume next week in Cancun, Mexico, where expectations are no longer for a comprehensive deal to slow warming, but smaller progress for example to curb deforestation, in a bid to agree a pact next year or later.

The previous conference in Copenhagen last year fell short of hopes, but about 140 countries have agreed a non-binding deal to try and limit warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

Temperatures are now about 0.8 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and 2010 is about 0.5 degrees above the 1961-1990 average, near the record, with two months data still to collect.

Even with a possible cool end to the year, 2010 is expected to be no lower than third in a record where 1998 and 2005 are warmest. The U.N. panel of climate scientists says higher temperatures mean more floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels.   Continued...

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