Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

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

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

In response to the past three years' record-breaking temperatures, authors of the new study calculated the likelihood of observing a three-year streak of record high temperatures since yearly global temperature records began in the late 19th century and the likelihood of seeing such a streak since 2000, when much of the warming has been observed.

Hurricane season could be the most active since 2010, according to research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center.

A report compiled by scientists around the world confirmed Thursday that 2016 was the hottest year since tracking began.

Before that, it was 2014.

The report came out just days after The New York Times published a draft USA 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.

'Unexploded WWII bomb' found at Fukushima disaster site
On March 11, 2011 a major quake triggered a tsunami which struck the six-reactor plant, causing serious damage. It is not uncommon for unexploded WW2 devices to be found in Japan over 70 years on from the end of the war.

Translation: As Earth's climate changes it directly affects sea level rise, greenhouse gas concentrations and land and ocean temperatures. That's not only a record in modern observations, but more than has been found in ice cores dating back 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.

The Antarctic, too, experienced record low sea ice coverage, and overall, there was less snow and ice on planet Earth than normal previous year. One-third of the sea level rise since 1880 has occurred since 1990, and coastal communities from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic are at increasing risk of routine flooding, saltwater intrusion into the drinking water supply and the collapse of roads, utilities and other vital infrastructure. Over the past two decades, sea level has increased at an average rate of about 0.13 inch (3.4 mm) per year, with the highest rates of increase in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The team says the strong, warm current caused by the El Niño weather pattern usually prevents hurricanes from truly taking shape.

In the sensitive polar regions, sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic hit record lows. Globally, temperatures were up nearly a full degree over the average measured from 1981 to 2010. 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.

"Drought in 2016 was among the most extensive in the post-1950 record", said the report. A total of 93 named tropical cyclones were observed worldwide in 2016, well above the 1981-2010 average of 82 storms.

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