2016 stacking up to be hottest year on record


By Susan Phillips

November 14, 2016

Also published by State Impact/NPR

It’s another record breaking year for global warming. 2016 is expected to surpass temperature records broken last year, according to the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization, which announced its report during the global climate talks in Marrakech on Monday. The organization says average temperatures for the first nine months of the year reached about 1.2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

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

Taalas said that the El Nino weather pattern had much to do with temperature spikes in the winter months, contributing to ocean warming and above-average sea level rise. In the Arctic, temperatures were 6 to 7° warmer. And he said extreme weather events were connected to these changes.

“Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen. ‘Once in a generation’ heatwaves and flooding are becoming more regular.  Sea level rise has increased exposure to storm surges associated with tropical cyclones,” he said.

The most damaging of those events was Hurricane Matthew in October, which killed 546 Haitians, caused damage in Cuba, the Bahamas, and South Carolina.