The UN announced yesterday that 2016 likely to be hottest year on record. Sixteen of the seventeen hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.
A report published by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) was published at the Marrakech global climate summit yesterday. It says that the global average temperature for the year looks set to be 1.2C above pre-industrial levels. This is very close to the 1.5C aspiration of the Paris climate agreement.
The El Niño event that started last year pushed up temperatures in the early part of 2016, but human emissions of greenhouse gases were the main cause of the temperature increase. Some amazing new high temperatures were recorded in some parts of the world, with Mitribah in Kuwait reaching 54.0C (129.2F) in July 2016 and Basra, Iraq reaching 53.9C (129.0F). Meanwhile, parts of the Arctic saw temperatures 6 or 7C above average!
2016 is already notable for being the first year in which atmospheric CO2 levels exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) in a permanent way, with a record 407.7ppm - the highest monthly value yet - recorded at Mauna Loa, Hawaii in May.
Whilst yesterday's news about the stability of global CO2 emissions is good, it's increasingly obvious that we need to significantly reduce global CO2 emissions, rather than just holding them steady.
Photo by Andy Price.