2014 may be the hottest year on record

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(CNN) — This year is on track to be one of the hottest, if not the hottest, year on record, a U.N. agency reported Wednesday, citing preliminary estimates.

The estimates were released by the World Meteorological Organization to coincide with annual climate change negotiations taking place in Lima, Peru.

“What we saw in 2014 is consistent with what we expect from a changing climate. Record-breaking heat combined with torrential rainfall and floods destroyed livelihoods and ruined lives.

“What is particularly unusual and alarming this year are the high temperatures of vast areas of the ocean surface, including in the Northern Hemisphere,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

According to the organization, estimates for this year show the average air temperature over land and sea for January-October was about 1.03 degrees Fahrenheit (0.57 degrees Centigrade) above the average of 57.2 degrees F (14.00 degrees C) for the 1961-1990 reference period, and 0.16 degree F (0.09 degree C) above the average for the past 10 years.

If the rest of 2014 plays out as expected, this year will be the hottest on record, ahead of 2010, 2005 and 1998.

“The provisional information for 2014 means that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century,” Jarraud said. “There is no standstill in global warming.”

CNN’s Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

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