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Global warming hitting Canada hard

Man-made pollution is one of the causes of global warming.
Man-made pollution is one of the causes of global warming.

Jill Colton, staff writer

December 3, 2010 — A study by the U.N.'s weather agency finds global warming is affecting Canada harder than most other parts of the world.

A smoggy Toronto skyline.
A smoggy Toronto skyline.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2010 is expected to be Canada's warmest year ever.

Research shows that temperatures across Canada last winter and spring were an average four degrees above normal, making it the country's warmest-ever winter and spring.

Arctic temperatures last winter averaged about six degrees above the normal temperature. The abnormal heat has lead to declining sea ice. Canada's Arctic has experienced a warming trend for years, which is a threat to marine life that depends on it. The WMO said the temperatures in Canada's eastern Arctic and sub-Arctic region have averaged three degrees above the normal in 2010.

The study also found that the region stretching from the northern half of Africa to south Asia was much warmer than usual.

The WMO said the global average temperature in 2010 was tracking to be one of the three warmest since readings began in 1850, slightly behind 1998 and 2005.

Many scientists blame global warming on human produced pollution that's trapping heat in the atmosphere. However, climate change skeptics argue that the Earth is actually cooling because 1998 was the hottest year on record.

The WMO also reported that many countries experienced extreme weather events in 2010, including torrential rains which lead to flooding in Pakistan and China and a severe drought in Russia.

With files from The Canadian Press

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