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UN suggests 2011 is the world's 10th warmest year

Many people have felt as though this year has been unseasonably warm, and they're right. According to a new report from the United Nations, by the time 2011 comes to an end, it will be the world's 10th warmest year on record since 1850.

If that weren't a large enough feat, 2011 temperatures are at their highest ever for a year experiencing a La Niña event, referring to the cooling influence on the globe's atmosphere.

The report continues that the period between 2002 and 2011 was the warmest decade on record, averaging 0.46 degrees in Celsius above the long-term average.

"Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached new highs," said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization. "They are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a rise of 2 to 2.4-degree Centigrade rise in average global temperatures which scientists believe could trigger far-reaching and irreversible changes in our Earth, biosphere and oceans."

Coinciding with these high temperatures was the record for the lowest sea ice volume on record for the Arctic sea.
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