Published: Fri, January 20, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jose Becker

2016 hottest year on record; scientists blame global warming

2016 was recorded as having the hottest temperatures worldwide in 136 years by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which have been tracking global temperature since 1880. It was largest margin by which an annual global temperature record has ever been broken, NOAA said. "We don't expect record years every year, but the ongoing long-term warming trend is clear", said Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Director Gavin Schmidt.

Climate change continues to advance, with new data from two U.S. government research bodies declaring 2016 to have been the hottest year on record.

But federal officials emphasized that a decades-long trend of rising temperatures is the important take-away from the data.

According to reports, the two USA agencies' findings were found to agree with those of other worldwide agencies, such as the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, which found that the earth's average surface temperature was 58.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Overall, the year was 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit (0.99 degree Celsius) warmer than the mean for the entire 20 century.

With a boost from El Nino, the earth's average temperature for 2016 was the warmest on record. "My personal prediction is that 2017 will be a top-five year, possibly the second warmest", says Schmidt.

On average, the mean global temperature was.99 degrees Celsius above the 20th century mean, just barely beating out 2015, the previous record holder.

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These recorded temperatures "continue a long-term warming trend", scientists from NASA said in a statement.

What's more, according to NOAA, not a single land area on the planet was cooler than average past year.

NOAA also reported that there was a string of eight consecutive high monthly temperature records (Jan-Aug) that were set in 2016.

But scientists suggest it was the opposite, compared to the 1997-98 El Niño, which was stronger than the recent anomaly.

Direct temperature measurements stretch back to 1880.

Scientists believe that the temperature records such as the one announced Wednesday are nearly certainly caused mainly by human-driven climate change, due to greenhouse gas emissions.

"No world leader can afford to ignore these results, which show that people all over the globe are being exposed to increasing impact of climate change", explained Bob Ward of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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