2016 was hottest year on record, international report confirms

2016 was hottest year on record, international report confirms
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A report compiled by scientists around the world confirmed Thursday that 2016 was the hottest year since tracking began.

The State of the Climate in 2016 report, led by the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with the help of scientists from 60 nations, found that “the major indicators of climate change continued to reflect trends consistent with a warming planet.” 

The comprehensive report came days after The New York Times publicized a draft of a separate major climate change report that is awaiting Trump administration approval.


The Times reported that scientists working on that quadrennial report feared the administration would try to bury some or all of its conclusions, since Trump and much of his Cabinet are skeptical about global warming. The report is congressionally mandated every four years. A final version hasn’t been released, so it remains to be seen if anything will be changed or removed.

Reportedly, 2016’s heat — the highest in 137 years — came from a combination of a warming trend caused by human-induced greenhouse gas emissions and the El Niño weather pattern.

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

But the annual report released Thursday by NOAA and other agencies including the American Meteorological Society documented a series of other alarming statistics and records.

For example, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged 402.9 parts per million, which scientists believe to be the highest in about 800,000 years. It was 3.5 parts per million higher than the previous year, the biggest jump in the 58 years it has been recorded.

The global average sea level was also the highest on record, 3.25 inches above 1993, when satellite records began, the report found.

The lower troposphere — the atmosphere right above the Earth’s surface — had the highest temperature on record, and the upper ocean’s heat was close to a record.