Global Study Says 2016 Was Warmest Year on Record

Crews battle a wildfire near Mariposa Calif. on July 18. Officials say the record rain and snowfall that ended California’s five-year drought has turned into a challenge for firefighters battling flames feeding on dense vegetation

The hottest year on record before the report was 2015.

The temperature record had been reported in the beginning of the year by the United States and numerous other counterpart agencies around the world.

According to the report, the global annual average of atmospheric Carbon dioxide concentration was 402.9 parts per million (ppm) in 2016 and surpassed the 400ppm mark for the first time, when compared to ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years. In 2016, the average global temperature across land and ocean surface areas was 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average of 13.9 degrees Celsius (57.0 degrees Fahrenheit), according to NOAA.

Global sea levels achieved a new record high in 2016, the sixth year in a row that Earth has seen an increase in sea levels. Below the surface, record high temperatures at the 20-meter (65-feet) depth were measured at all permafrost observatories on the North Slope of Alaska and at the Canadian observatory on northernmost Ellesmere Island.

While the study, recognized as the US government's most comprehensive look at climate, identified varying levels of turbulence across the globe, few spots were immune to the impacts of climate change - and some faced dire threats.

A total of 468 scientists from 64 countries who worked on the report concluded: "Major indicators of climate change continued to reflect trends consistent with a warming planet". Globally, temperatures were up nearly a full degree over the average measured from 1981 to 2010.

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

Global average sea level rose to a new record high in 2016 and was about 3.25 inches (82 mm) higher than the 1993 average, the year that marks the beginning of the satellite altimeter record.

Last year was the warmest since record keeping began 137-years-ago.

The new study considers that each year is not independent of the ones coming before and after it, in contrast to previous estimates that assumed individual years are statistically independent from each other. Pruitt has said repeatedly that he does not believe human activity plays a large role in climate change.

A graph of the global mean surface temperature for the six-month period of January through June of each year from 1880-2016.

The report's climate indicators show patterns, changes, and trends of the global climate system.

The probability that this series of record-breaking years would be observed at some point since 2000 is less than 0.7 percent without the influence of human-caused climate change, but between 30 and 50 percent when the influence of human-caused climate change is considered, the new study finds.

Related:

Comments