by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Dec 27, 2011
This year was the hottest in France since the start of the 20th century, Meteo France said Tuesday, with average national temperatures 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the norm.
The average national temperature in 2011 was 13.6 degrees Celsius (56 degrees Fahrenheit), Meteo France's Francois Gourand told AFP, 0.2 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous hottest year, 2003.
This year's spring was particularly warm, with temperatures an average 4.0 degrees Celsius warmer than usual in April. The "norm" is the average temperature from 1971 to 2000, Gourand said.
Autumn 2011 was also exceptionally mild, with November the second hottest since 1900, 3.0 degrees Celsius warmer than the average of temperatures from 1971 to 2000.
Every month in 2011 was above this benchmark except for July, when temperatures were 1.3 degrees Celsius cooler than average.
The year's warm temperatures were accompanied by 20 percent less rainfall than usual, except in the southeast of France where heavy rain in November saw the average attained.
On a global level, the World Meteorological Organisation said at the end of November that 2011 was at that point the "10th warmest year at a global level" since records began in 1850.
Moreover, the world's 13 hottest years since records began are all from the last 15 years, the UN weather organisation said.
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Climate sensitivity greater than previously believed
Gothenburg, Sweden (SPX) Dec 22, 2011
Many of the particles in the atmosphere are produced by the natural world, and it is possible that plants have in recent decades reduced the effects of the greenhouse gases to which human activity has given rise. One consequence of this is that the climate may be more sensitive to emissions caused by human activity than we have previously believed. Scientists at the University of Gothenbur ... read more
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