The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said global land surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since records began in 1880, at more than 1 degree Celsius higher than average for those months.
There have also been severe monsoon floods across South Asia, abnormally heavy rains in northern Europe,
"The start of the year 2007 was a very active period in terms of extreme weather events," Omar Baddour of the agency’s World Climate Program told journalists in
While most scientists believe extreme weather events will be more frequent as heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions cause global temperatures to rise, Baddour said it was impossible to say with certainty what the second half of 2007 will bring.
"It is very difficult to make projections for the rest of the year," he said.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a U.N. umbrella group of hundreds of experts, has noted an increasing trend in extreme weather events over the past 50 years and said irregular patterns are likely to intensify.
South Asia’s worst monsoon flooding in recent memory has affected 30 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, destroying croplands, livestock and property and raising fears of a health crisis in the densely-populated region.
Heavy rains also doused southern
Huge swell waves swamped some 68 islands in the
Temperature records were broken in southeastern Europe in June and July, and in western and central
The WMO and its 188 member states are working to set up an early warning system for extreme weather events. The agency is also seeking to improve monitoring of the impacts of climate change, particularly in poorer countries which are expected to bear the brunt of floods, droughts and storms.