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2016 the hottest year on record: US analysis

Science & Tech

US scientists say the Earth sizzled to a third straight heat record last year.

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They mostly blame man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino, which has since disappeared.

The figures announced today come from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which measure global temperatures in slightly different ways. They said last year surpassed 2015 as the hottest year on record.

NOAA calculated that the average global temperature last year was 14.84 degrees Celsius – beating the previous year by .04 degrees.

NASA’s figures include more of the Arctic, which was warmer than usual. The agency said last year was .12 degrees warmer than 2015.

This color-coded map displays a progression of changing global surface temperatures anomalies from 1880 through 2016. The final frame represents global temperature anomalies averaged from 2012 through 2016 in degrees Celsius. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio. Data provided by Robert B. Schmunk (NASA/GSFC GISS).

The Earth’s 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to the analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

It found globally-averaged temperatures in 2016 were 0.99 degrees Celsius warmer than the mid-20th century mean.

“2016 is remarkably the third record year in a row in this series,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. “We don’t expect record years every year, but the ongoing long-term warming trend is clear.”

The analysis found the Earth’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.1 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century – a change it says has been mostly driven by human activity.

Sixteen of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001.

Eight of the 12 months in 2016 – from January through September, with the exception of June – were the warmest on record for those respective months.

– with AP

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