2016 will likely shatter record, says UN agency

UN agency expects 2016 to be the hottest year ever recorded.

To really no one’s surprise, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is affirming what most scientists and climatologists were already saying that the year 2016 will go down on record as the hottest year ever recorded, according to the Washington Post.

The agency continued to say that 16 of the 17 hottest years ever recorded have occurred in the 21st century, in making the announcement at international climate meetings being held in Marrakech, Morocco.  The United Nations agency remarked that the previous three years have set even more impressive temperature records, and even though 2016 is not quite over, multiple months during the year already have set new temperature records, accompanied by a strong El Nino event.

The WMO says the overall temperature for 2016 will be 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer on average than temperatures recorded before the planet became industrialized, and well on track to reach the 1.5 degree Celsius projected at the Paris Climate meetings by the year 2030.  Some researchers have warned crossing the 1.5 degree mark will be permanent.

Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of the WMO, said in a statement released by the agency, “In parts of Arctic Russia, temperatures were 6°C to 7°C above the long-term average. Many other Arctic and sub-Arctic regions in Russia, Alaska and northwest Canada were at least 3°C above average. We are used to measuring temperature records in fractions of a degree, and so this is different.”

The UN agency also noted a peak in the measurement of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations of 407.7 parts per million at the Mauna Loa Observatory located in Hawaii last May.  The group singled out last February and March as having particularly alarming warm temperature records in 2016.

The agency cited El Nino as the reason for a surge in sea levels across the globe, with levels rising 15 millimeters between late in 2014 through early 2016.  The normal pace of increase had been around 3 millimeters per year.

The somewhat good news is the scientists think that 2017 will not set a new record, due to the end of the El Nino cycle, but that still doesn’t diminish the magnitude of the recent record increases.

The agency cautioned its statement was “provisional,” and added the numbers would be updated as soon as the information for the entire year can be processed.

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