World News Wednesday: Global Climate in 2016

Climate change has been a topic of conversation discussed by many scientists and politicians. This theory argues that the Earth is getting warmer, largely due to human activities that pollute the atmosphere. There are many skeptics of climate change, but last Wednesday, a new piece of evidence was released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO):

NOAA: Temperature Percentile Map 2016

2016 was confirmed as the hottest year on record. According to the many sources used by WMO, the globally averaged temperature was about 1.1°C higher in 2016 than it was in 2015. However, this is not anything new, or even unexpected, according to the WMO data over the past three years. 2016 is the third year in a row that a global heat record was reached. Looking back to 2014, WMO declared it as the Earth’s warmest year since they began keeping record back in the 1880s. Only a year later, that record was beat when 2015’s temperatures were averaged higher. Fast-forward to a week ago, and 2016 has officially been the hottest year on record, once again.

Out of the 17 hottest years ever, 16 of them occurred in the 21st century. Along with high temperatures, record ocean heat was found in 2016, which contributed to widespread coral reef bleaching. Aside from temperatures, carbon dioxide and methane concentrations also rose to new high records in 2016. This is believed to be an indicator of climate change, due to the impact on Earth’s atmosphere. Climate change is also believed to cause extreme weather events, which the WMO recorded and released as well:

A full statement by the WMO will come out this March, discussing the global climate in 2016, including full details of regional and national temperatures, extreme weather events, sea levels, and tropical cyclones. This annual climate report will monitor and analyze what is considered a natural year-to-year variations in the climate, as well as what reflects long-term climate change due to human activities. WMO hopes to provide this as a tool to inform decision makers about the need to control and adapt in order to prevent climate change.

Article written by Kylie Miller.

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