UN agency: 2016 ‘very likely’ to be hottest year on record

UN agency: 2016 ‘very likely’ to be hottest year on record
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It is “very likely” 2016 will break the mark for hottest year on record, a United Nations weather agency predicted on Monday. 

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) projects that 2016 will break the record set last year based on warm global temperatures observed between January and September.

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The average temperature during those months was about 1.58 degrees Fahrenheit above the baseline WMO uses, the agency said. Thanks to a warm October, as well, WMO predicts 2016 is on track to take the title.

This year has seen a string of record-warm months, and global temperature models show 2016 well on pace for breaking last year’s record.  

WMO scientists blamed the record heat on the El Nino weather pattern, which ended earlier this year, and climate change, which has kept global temperatures abnormally high on its own. 

“Another year. Another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. “The extra heat from the powerful El Niño event has disappeared. The heat from global warming will continue.”

If 2016 breaks last year’s record — a title American climate officials would announce in early January — it would mean 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have come since 2000, WMO said. 

American climate officials have predicted a record-warm 2016 nearly the entire year: when scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced 2015 as the hottest year on record in January, they said then they already expected 2016 to break that mark. 

WMO’s report comes has climate negotiators meet in Morocco to discuss the next steps on policies designed to tackle global warming.