NOAA or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with the American Meteorological Society, issued its annual State of the Climate Report, one which returned bleaker than expected results. For example, for the third year in a row, the past year was the hottest one ever recorded. This is even more concerning when taking into consideration the fact that NOAA has records going all the way back to 1880. Around five hundred scientists from over 60 countries contributed to the 300-pages report.
State of the Climate Report: 2016 Was the Hottest Year Ever
In addition to being the warmest year, 2016 was the 40th consecutive year that was hotter than the average 20th century year. No one born after 1977 has ever experienced an average or colder than average year. So far, all 16 years of the 21st century have been among the 17 warmest years ever.
The global annual temperature has increased by roughly 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit (0.07 degrees Celsius) per decade since 1880 and about 0.31 degrees Fahrenheit (0.17 degrees Celsius) since 1970. That means the rate of global warming has accelerated over the past few decades.
The State of the Climate report described other worrying findings, both global and local. In the contiguous United States, 2016 was the second warmest year ever recorded, surpassed only by 2012. In Alaska, it was the warmest year ever since the state government began keeping records in 1925.
High temperatures were only part of the report’s worse than expected results. That heat either caused extreme weather or exacerbated it, and examples could be found all over the world. For example, at least ten percent of the planet was subject to extreme drought during any given month. Sea surface temperatures and sea levels increased throughout the world for the sixth straight year, and both were higher than in any previously recorded year.
The report also stated that carbon dioxide reached a global average concentration of 402.9 parts per million. Not only is that the highest ever recorded, but it’s also the highest level in 800,000 years.
There really should not be a debate about the reality of climate change, given that the NOAA has records going back 130 years. These also show that the pace of climate change is increasing, and it is worsening.
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