Continued from page 1

Cold winters in northern Europe _ not counting the early snow and freezing temperatures now gripping Britain and parts of the continent _ meant it was the coolest year in that region since 1996, Jarraud said. But that “did not reflect the global average,” he said.

The two other extraordinary years were 1998 and 2005. Jarraud said those two steaming years and 2010 were all within a fraction of a degree of each other.

The conference, which ends Dec. 10 with a meeting of scores of ministers and about 25 heads of state, is seeking agreement on a narrow package of measures to help poor countries prepare for changing climate conditions. Key among them is to set up an organization to govern $30 billion in emergency climate funds through 2012, and $100 billion a year starting in 2020.