UK Government

Met Office: 'Noughties' confirmed as the warmest decade on record

Press Release   •   Dec 09, 2009 10:51 GMT

The first decade of this century has been by far the warmest decade on the instrumental record according to the Met Office. New figures released today in Copenhagen show that, despite 1998 being the warmest individual year, the last ten years have clearly been the warmest period in the 160-year record of global surface temperature maintained jointly by the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Similar results are revealed in the independent analyses made by the USA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

These figures highlight that the world continues to see global temperature rise most of which is due to increasing emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and clearly shows that the argument that global warming has stopped is flawed.

In a separate announcement, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has revealed today that 2009 will become another top ten warm year according latest figures, with a provisional warming of 0.44 °C above the long-term average of 14.0 °C

2009 has been warmer than 2008 owing to the emergence of El Niño conditions in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, and is expected to become the 5th warmest year in the instrumental record that dates back to 1850.


Notes to editors

For further information contact Met Office Press Office 01392 886655 or email

·         The Met Office is the UK’s National Weather Service, providing 24x7 world-renowned scientific excellence in weather, climate and environmental forecasts and severe weather warnings for the protection of life and property.

·         The Met Office Hadley Centre is the UK’s foremost centre for climate change research. Largely funded by Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and DECC (the Dept for Energy and Climate Change) it provides information and advice to the UK Government on climate change issues.

·         The Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UEA) maintain the global temperature record – HadCRUT3 – on behalf of WMO.

·         Further information on the creation of the global temperature records can be found on the Met Office website at

·        Globally temperature is currently 0.44 °C above the 1961-90 average of 14.0 °C.


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