Science

2016 was Earth's warmest year on record, worldwide report shows

2016 was Earth's warmest year on record, worldwide report shows

It is "extremely unlikely" 2014, 2015 and 2016 would have been the warmest consecutive years on record without the influence of human-caused climate change, according to the authors of a new study.

The temperature record had been reported in the beginning of the year by the United States and numerous other counterpart agencies around the world. These temperatures were then surpassed in 2015 and 2016, making last year the hottest year ever recorded. Both land and sea surface temperatures set new highs.

The 27th annual State of the Climate report, prepared by more than 450 scientists from almost 60 countries under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's watch, said 2016 marked the third straight year of record warmth. It was 3.5 parts per million higher than the previous year, the biggest jump in the 58 years it has been recorded.

In the past billionaire Trump has called climate change "a hoax" invented by the Chinese, dismissing scientific evidence of human contributions to rising temperatures.

"With climate change, this is the kind of thing we would expect to see".

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The report came out just days after The New York Times published a draft US government report on climate, which said that the average temperature in the United States had risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and that recent decades had been the warmest in the past 1,500 years. Scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) have found that Earth's average surface temperature has risen about 1.1 degrees Celsius (2.0 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late-19th century.

Global surface and sea temperatures, sea levels and greenhouse gases levels were all at record highs, it added.

Translation: As Earth's climate changes it directly affects sea level rise, greenhouse gas concentrations and land and ocean temperatures.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a leading environmental agency which is part of the U.S. federal government, found that global temperatures were warmer last year than in 137 years of recordkeeping for a third consecutive year - surpassing the previosu record of 2015.

The draft report was compiled by scientists at 13 federal agencies and concluded that Americans were already starting to feel the result of climate change, despite expectations that the change would not be felt for several more decades. The report is congressionally mandated every four years.


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