It is very likely that 2016 will be the hottest year on record.
New data released by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) showed that this year’s global temperatures are approximately 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels.
That means global temperatures will be higher than the record-breaking ones in 2015.
Temperatures for January to September this year have been about 0.88°C above the average for the 1961 to 1990 reference period, the WMO stated.
Preliminary data for October indicated that they are at a sufficiently high level for the year to remain on track for the title of hottest year on record.
That would mean that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century.
The WMO also said long-term climate change indicators are also record breaking as concentrations of major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase to new records.
WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas said: “Another year. Another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016. The extra heat from the powerful El Niño event has disappeared. The heat from global warming will continue. In parts of Arctic Russia, temperatures were 6°C to 7°C above the long-term average. Many other Arctic and sub-Arctic regions in Russia, Alaska and northwest Canada were at least 3°C above average.
“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.”