Warming and environmental balance 2004

2004 year confirms global warming

Key words: global warming, global warming, greenhouse effect, pollution, CO2.

The World Meteorological Organization has just released a first global climate report for the year 2004, which will be completed in March 2005 when the December data is available.

According to the international organization, global warming continues, as the average temperature on the surface of the globe has increased by 0,44 ° C compared to an average of 14 ° C (determined between 1961 and 1990). These characteristics make 2004 the fourth hottest year since 1861, just behind 2003 (+ 0,49 ° C).

The year 1998 nonetheless remains in the lead with a temperature 0,54 ° C higher than the average. In general, the last ten years (1995 to 2005) - with the exception of 1996 - are among the hottest known since the existence of meteorological records.

However, on our planet, disparities remain the law. Meteorologists observed heat waves in June and July over southern Spain, Portugal and Romania, with temperatures reaching 40 ° C.

Japan and Australia also experienced very hot weather. In contrast, the abnormal cold that prevailed in July in the Andes of southern Peru caused the death of 92 people

2004 also saw its procession of droughts and floods. At the start of the year, very dry weather conditions continued to affect eastern South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.

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The rainy season from March to May was shorter with less than normal rainfall in the Greater Horn of Africa, causing water scarcity in the region. Thus, parts of Uganda experienced the worst drought since 1961, and in Kenya, an early end to the rains further increased an endemic drought resulting from several years of insufficient rain. As a result, agricultural production in this country has decreased by around 40%. In addition, a significant drought continues to hit Afghanistan, southern China, southern and eastern Australia.

Tropical cyclones

However, the 2004 rainfall was above average, since 2004 was the wettest year since 2000. The Asian monsoon from June to September resulted in intense rains and floods in the north from India, Nepal and Bangladesh,
leaving millions of people homeless and causing the death of 1 of them. Eastern and southern China have also experienced floods and landslides that have resulted in the deaths of more than 800 Chinese.

Heavy rains also hit Brazil, Angola, Botswana, Namibia and some Australian states. The El Niño climate phenomenon is not responsible for these disasters. The latter began to arise between July and November. But it looks rather placid.

On the other hand, the number and intensity of tropical storms and cyclones that arise in the Atlantic between July and November was particularly significant. During this period, fifteen tropical storms developed, instead of ten on average, and eight concentrated in the month of August alone, which is a record for this period. Six tropical cyclones, with winds of more than 300 km / h, crossed the Caribbean region and the southern United States.

During its passage through Haiti, tropical cyclone Jeanne caused floods and landslides that killed three thousand people. In contrast, the tropical storm season in the eastern North Pacific was calmer. Only twelve storms have appeared, while on average more than sixteen are created each year.

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In the middle of this Prévert catalog, good news: the ozone hole that settles every year on Antarctica has been the smallest in ten years. It reached its maximum size (19,6 million km2) in late September and disappeared earlier than usual, in mid-November.

More heat, but less excess

According to the latest figures provided by Météo France, 2004 promises to be slightly warmer than normal in mainland France at around 0,5 ° C. Although no month shows an exceptional anomaly, June and October are the ones for which the temperature differences are the most marked, because they were a little warmer than normal by around 1,5 and 1,7, 12,2 degrees. With an average temperature which should be around 2004 ° C, the year 2004 will be, in France, only the eighth row of the hottest years of the last decade. With regard to precipitation, the accumulations recorded are fairly close to normal over most of the country: rather in surplus in Brittany, the Center and Roussillon, and rather in deficit elsewhere, especially in the Southeast. All in all, 2003 appears to be a quieter year than the previous one, as it did not experience any meteorological event of the magnitude of the heat wave and the drought observed in XNUMX.

Christiane Galus, Source: The World

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