- Science & Tech
The world witnessed the hottest year on record in 2016, surpassing the exceptionally high temperatures of 2015, according to the UN weather agency, highlighting new records in indicators of human-caused climate change, as well as loss of Arctic sea ice.
The globally averaged temperature in 2016 was about 1.1 degree Celsius higher than the pre-industrial period, according to a consolidated analysis by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), continuing the trend in which 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have been during this century (1998 is the outlier).
The year “2016 was an extreme year for the global climate and stands out as the hottest year on record”, WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said, stressing that “temperatures only tell part of the story.”
He emphasised that “long-term indicators of human-caused climate change reached new heights in 2016, as carbon dioxide and methane concentrations surged to new records,” adding that carbon dioxide, as well as methane concentrations contribute to climate change.
Rising temperatures and concentrations of major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are not the only record-breaking indicators of climate change, the Arctic sea ice also remains at very low levels.