2016 was the hottest year on record, according to NASA and NOAA

Scientists have confirmed record-breaking heat for third year in a row and warn that the effects of climate change on people are coming sooner and with more ferocity than expected.

2016 broke yet another record: it was the hottest year since measurements began in 1880. After 2014 and 2015, it was the third year in a row that registered record temperatures. 2016 was 0.87 degrees warmer than the average of the 1880-2015 period and 1.1 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels (19th century).

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Global temperatures have increased steadily since measurements began in 1880

2016 was the hottest year, again

“2016 is Earth’s warmest year, culminating in a remarkable 3-year streak of record warm years for the globe,” writes NOAA (National Centres for Environmental Information). “The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2016 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880. During the final month, the December combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the third highest for December in the 137-year record”. NASA and NOAA scientists warn that temperatures are achieving levels that could threaten our civilisation.

“Considering that 2016 saw CO2 levels permanently above 40ppm for the first time (after millions of years!), extreme global warming is no surprise,” said Professor Konrad Steffen of the Arctic Basecamp initiative from the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

2016 hottest year
Melting ice is a clear evidence of global warming © Wolfang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Professor Gail Whiteman added: “Leaders must know that a changing Arctic is the clearest sign of the ongoing climate change. The risks facing the industrial world, insurance, and agriculture will directly affect out lifestyle”.


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