The World Meteorological Organization released today their 2011 analysis, in a document titled, “Provisional Statement of the Status of the Global Climate.” In summary, it stated that 2011 was the world’s 10th warmest year, the warmest year with La Niña on record, and the second-lowest Arctic sea ice extent. Major weather events have included severe drought, then flood, in east Africa, and major floods in south-east Asia. However, it’s been a below average year with regards to tropical cyclone activity. Normal years have an average of 84 tropical cyclones, but -- as of November 22 -- there had only been 69 tropical cyclones in 2011.
The World Meteorological Organization is the UN’s voice on weather, climate, and water and issues a yearly report after collecting data. Climate data is gathered from networks of land-based weather and climate stations, ships and buoys, as well as satellites. However, since the year is obviously not completed yet, final updates and reports for the current year will be published in the annual WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate, which will come out in March 2012. The current press release can be read on the World Meteorological Organization's website.