World Weather Warmest on Record
Average global temperatures in 2015 are likely to be the hottest ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
The effects of climate change have led to global temperature increases of 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial era, according to the WMO.
"2015 is likely to be the hottest year on record, with ocean surface temperatures at the highest level since measurements began. It is probable that the 1 degree Celsius threshold will be crossed," said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. "This is all bad news for the planet."
The WMO says this is due to a combination of global warming and the El Niño oceanic phenomenon.
According to the WMO report, the five-year period from 2011-2015 has been the warmest on record "with many extreme weather events - especially heatwaves - influenced by climate change."
It says South America is having its hottest year on record, as is Asia, while Africa and Europe are having their second hottest.
"Greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing climate change, can be controlled," Jarraud said. "We have the knowledge and the tools to act."
The report comes just a week before world leaders meet in Paris for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
US: Multiple Errors Led to Mistaken, Deadly Attack on Afghan Hospital
American forces misidentified a target in Kunduz, Afghanistan last month that resulted in a mistaken half-hour aerial attack on a hospital that killed at least 30 people, mostly doctors and patients, according to a U.S. military investigation.
Army Gen. John Campbell, the commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, said Wednesday that Afghan forces asked for U.S. air support to strike a National Directorate of Security building believed to be occupied by Taliban fighters. According to the report, the AC-130 air crew instead fired 211 shells at a hospital operated by the international charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) that was 450 meters away.
"This was a tragic mistake," Campbell said in Kabul Wednesday. "This is an example of human and process error. It was directly the result of avoidable human error."
Several factors contributed to the mistake, according to Campbell. The air crew launched more than an hour earlier than planned, missing out on a crucial brief that would normally include identifying no-strike areas such as the MSF hospital. Once in flight, the aircraft's electronic systems malfunctioned, eliminating the crew's ability to transmit video, send and receive email, or send and receive electronic messages.
The crew then believed it was the target of a missile, Campbell told reporters, so they moved out of the aircraft's normal strike range, degrading the accuracy of the targeting system. That loss of accuracy appeared to cause the coordinates of the Taliban target to land on an open field. The crew visually located the "closest, largest" building to that field and, thinking that was the target, fired on it.
Campbell said some military personnel involved in the incident have been suspended from duties pending possible disciplinary action, and that the U.S. intends to assist Doctors Without Borders in rebuilding the hospital.