From last winter’s unusually bearable temperatures that made sweatshirt-only skiing a reality, to this summer’s sweltering heat, it was pretty impossible not to notice that 2016 was a lot balmier than usual.
Well, the United Nations weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization, has confirmed this, saying that 2016 will “very likely” be the hottest year on record.
“Another year. Another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016,” said Petteri Taalas, the head of the World Meteorological Organization. WMO’s preliminary data through October showed world temperatures are 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Not surprisingly, they blamed climate change for the extreme weather. Of course, 2016 saw no shortage of extreme and very newsworthy weather, from Hurricane Matthew and the Fort McMurray wildfire, to droughts, floods and heat waves.
The report found that concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are climbing to new records.
In other dismal findings, the report stressed that Arctic sea ice levels remain very low and that there was significant and premature melting of the Greenland ice sheet.
If a new global record is set this year, 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have been in this century, according to the agency. This information comes at a crucial time considering the United States just elected a new president who has claimed that the concept of global warming is a constructed one.
Environmental groups and climate scientists said the report highlights the need to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses blamed for global warming as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, environmentalists, scientists, and world leaders are meeting this week in Morocco for the latest round of climate discussions.