In a statement on the status of the climate in 2013 released on Wednesday, the World Meteorological Association says this year is shaping up to be among the top ten warmest since records began in 1850. The first nine months of 2013 tied with 2003 as the seventh warmest on record, while average global land and ocean surface temperatures are around 0.86°F (0.48°C) higher than the 1961-1990 average.

Image © Jonathan Grech

“Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases reached new highs in 2012, and we expect them to reach unprecedented levels yet again in 2013. This means that we are committed to a warmer future,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

According to the report, the months between January and September, 2013 comprised a warmer period than in 2011 and 2012. The United States experienced record heat last year, but this year Australia is observing extreme high temperatures. That country reported its hottest month ever in January, which was part of the hottest summer on record, while the period between November, 2012 and October, 2013 was the hottest ever recorded. On January 7th, Moomba in South Australia reached a high of 121.28°F (49.6°C).

The extreme heat in Australia is occurring at the same time that new Prime Minister Tony Abbott denies the link between climate change and bush fires. Not only did he introduce a bill to repeal the carbon tax, but he is also refusing to consider increasing emission cuts above the five percent target by 2020, despite calls from the Climate Change Authority to cut emissions by 15 to 25 percent.

+ World Meteorological Association

Via Huffington Post

Lead image via Ross Beckley