August 8, 2007
Floods threaten a resident of Wuhan, China
on August 4.
Disasters brought on by severe rains have killed at least 652 Chinese so far in 2007.
The violent weather is among a slew of record-breaking climate events that have pounded the world in the first months of 2007, the United Nations' World Meterological Organization reported Tuesday.
Land-surface temperatures for January and April will probably be recorded as the warmest since data-keeping began in 1880, according to the report. In January, for example, global temperatures were 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer (1.89 degrees Celsius warmer) than average.
Other extreme events included:
unusually numerous monsoons, which caused heavy floods in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh;
the first cyclone known to have hit Oman and Iran;
and the wettest May-to-June period in Britain since records began in 1766about 15 inches (41 centimeters) of rain.
The "unequivocal" trend of global warming has mostly driven the wildly fluctuating patterns, the agency speculated.
The UN announced it is working with its 188 member states to develop a "multi-hazard" early warning system, which would notify people about violent weather such as storms, floods, and heat waves.
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Photograph by AP