Global Temperatures, Sea Levels Rising Faster than Expected

Andrew Burger

Global temperatures and sea levels are rising faster than expected due to rising CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, according to the German weather service, prompting calls for more aggressive actions on the part of cities to adapt.

As storms batter the Midwest and wildfires plague southern California, German weather experts stated that rising carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are causing the global climate to warm even faster than forecast.

sea levels rising faster than expected

Germany's weather service--Deutsche Wetterdienst, or DWD--reported that the summer of 2008 was warmer than usual. Temperatures averaged 9.2 degrees Celsius (48.56 Fahrenheit), above the 8.3°C (46.94°F) forecast, further evidence that global warming is occurring even faster than expected, the agency's weather experts say.

One, or even several summers of hotter than average temperatures does not a climate trend make. However, six of the ten warmest years recorded since 1890 took place in the last decade, DWD noted. The number of days in which temperatures exceeded 25°C (77°F) was double those in the 1950s.

Sea levels are also rising faster than expected, according to the DWD. They rose by an annual average of 1.8 millimeters (0.071 inches) from 1961 to 2003. The largest rises came between 1993 and 2003, when sea levels rose by 3.3 mm (0.13 in.) a year.

DWD's climate models are forecasting that cities across Germany will see temperatures above 25°C. Summer temperatures in Frankfurt, for example, will rise above that mark one of every six days, according to the DWD.

Looking to adapt, urban planners are urging that at least 25 percent of cities be given over to green space and public gardens.


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