UPDATE 1-Extreme weather calls for action, UN climate chief says

* Extreme weather shows need for urgent action, officials

say

* Negotiators struggling to agree on extending Kyoto

Protocol

DOHA, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Extreme weather from melting Arctic

ice to Superstorm Sandy shows snail-paced U.N. climate talks

have to do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the head of the

U.N. weather agency and its climate chief said on Wednesday.

"Climate change is taking place before our eyes," Michel

Jarraud, the head of the U.N.'s weather agency, said of the

shrinking of ice floating on the Arctic Ocean to a record low in

September and other extremes.

And the first 10 months of 2012 were the ninth-warmest since

records began in the mid-19th century, with early months cooled

by a "La Nina" weather event in the Pacific, according to a

report by Jarraud's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

It also documented severe floods, droughts and heatwaves, in

what the U.N. expected to add to pressure for action at the Nov.

26-Dec. 7 meeting among 200 nations in OPEC member Qatar.

"The message here for this conference is very clear,"

Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat

told Reuters of extremes and rising emissions. "Governments need

to hurry up and they need to be much more on track."

Superstorm Sandy, which struck the U.S. east coast after

raging through the Caribbean, showed the United States "is not

exempt from the vulnerabilities of climate change and that it

also needs to do something," she said.

"We have had severe climate and weather events all over the

world and everyone is beginning to understand that is exactly

the future we are going to be looking about if they don't do

something about it," she said.

SEA LEVELS

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N. panel of climate

scientists, said the costs of defences against higher sea levels

would rise towards 2100 and could amount to five to 10 percent

of gross domestic product of low-lying nations.

And between 75 and 250 million people in Africa alone could

face greater stress on water supplies by 2020, hitting food

output. "This would further adversely affect food security and

exacerbate malnutrition," he said in a speech to the conference.

He said polls showed U.S. public opinion had swung towards

wanting more action by President Barack Obama to slow global

warming after Sandy. "But whether that's a lasting change it's

too early to say," he told Reuters.

China, the United States, the European Union and India are

the top emitters. None have announced plans to limit emissions

at Doha despite wide pleas for action.

The U.N. meeting is struggling to overcome disputes about

how to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the existing plan for cutting

emissions by developed nations that will otherwise expire at the

end of the year.

The European Union, Australia and a few other countries are

willing to extend but Japan, Russia and Canada have pulled out,

arguing that it is meaningless unless emerging nations led by

China and India also sign up.

The United States never ratified the 1997 Kyoto pact.

Without an extension of Kyoto, developing nations say they won't

work for a global deal applicable to all and meant to be agreed

by 2015 and enter into force by 2020.

Also, coal-dependent Poland won backing as the host for next

year's U.N. climate talks after OPEC member Qatar, a double act

that dismayed environmentalists who say both oppose action to

drop fossil fuels and embrace greener energies.

"The prospect of Poland hosting the next global climate

conference is hugely concerning. At a time when action is

desperately needed, a host country should be firmly committed to

climate protection," Greenpeace's Jiri Jerabek said.

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