2002 was the second warmest year since 1860, extending a quarter-century pattern of accelerated global warming linked to greenhouse gas emissions, according to United Nations scientists.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said 1998 remained the hottest year on record. The ten warmest years have all occurred since 1987, nine since 1990.

The 2002 report was based on observations through November from a network of land-based weather stations, ships and buoys. Global surface temperatures have risen six-tenths of a degree Celsius since 1900.