Bad news for planet Earth: 2016 was the hottest year on record

Jan 18 2017, 6:51 pm

While many considered 2016 one of the worst years ever, it was also the hottest year on record.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the average temperature in 2016 was about 1.1°C higher than the pre-industrial period.

“2016 was an extreme year for the global climate and stands out as the hottest year on record,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a release. “But temperatures only tell part of the story.”

2016 marks three consecutive years of record warmth for the planet, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Sixteen of the 17 hottest years in modern record have occurred since 2000, according to the NOAA.

Taalas notes that carbon dioxide and methane concentrations also soared in 2016.

Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere and ocean for centuries and causes acidification in bodies of water.

“Long-term indicators of human-caused climate change reached new heights in 2016,” Taalas said. “Carbon dioxide and methane concentrations surged to new records. Both contribute to climate change.”

World’s ice melt continues

Ice melt records were also broken in 2016.

“We have (broken) sea ice minimum records in the Arctic and Antarctic,” said Taalas.

“The Arctic is warming twice as fast a the global average. The persistent loss of sea ice is driving weather, climate and ocean circulation patterns in other parts of the world. We also have to pay attention to the potential release of methane from melting permafrost.”

See it to believe it

If reading the facts about the Earth’s warming temperatures are not convincing enough, the NOAA has put together a video to show how the planet has heated up since 1880.

Sometimes, you just have to see it, to believe it.

Simran SinghSimran Singh

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