Temperature data for 2016 show it likely edged ahead of 2015 as the world’s warmest year.
Temperatures spiked to new national highs in parts of India, Kuwait and Iran, while sea ice melted faster than ever in the fragile Arctic, said the report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They both share the assessment that temperatures have been above the norm. Only the Decembers of 2014 and 2015 were warmer.
For the U.S., 2016 was the second-hottest year on record, NOAA said.
With data going back to 1880, the clip shows a gradual ebb and flow of temperature, at least for a while.
The climate office also looked into temperatures in regional areas in Florida. “That happened only once before in our record, and that was in the years 1939 through 1941, which now don’t even fit in the top 30 [warmest years] of the record”, explained Deke Arndt, global monitoring chief at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, at a press briefing. El Niño has since ceased, but regions all over the world are still feeling the after effects of high global temperatures.
The temperatures of 2016 are a trend that had been on the ascendant since a long period of time. The highs and lows were close to 3 degrees above average.
Even more alarming is the fact that Earth’s average surface temperature has risen by over 1.1 degrees Celsius (2.0 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 19th century. October, November and December of previous year all reached second-hottest status after each hit new heights in 2015, NASA said. The United States experienced its second hottest year on record, while North America experienced its hottest year ever. Australia recorded its fifth warmest year on record.
In addition to higher temperatures, 2016 saw several natural disasters, ranging from wildfires in Alberta, Canada, to hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean, that scientists predict will become more common as the atmosphere retains more heat.
We might be trying to do a lot to combat climate change but 2016 proved it’s not enough by setting the record for the hottest year – for the third year running.
The average temperature in 2016 was 0.99 degrees Celsius warmer than the average temperature in the mid-20th century.
Both NASA and NOAA looked at the same data, but interpreted it with different algorithms.
“It is interesting to note that most of the warming has occurred since 2001, providing a rising trend towards global warming”, the analysis said.
Other scientists from USA universities and institutions concur that the phenomenon we are experiencing is real and that it is of the utmost importance that we act as soon as possible if we want to slow down and decrease its effects.