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Global Study Says 2016 Was Warmest Year on Record
11 August 2017, 02:07 | Justin Tyler
Current climate pledges are not enough to cap global warming at 2 degrees Marco Bertorello
In response to the past three years' record-breaking temperatures, authors of the new study calculated the likelihood of observing a three-year streak of record high temperatures since yearly global temperature records began in the late 19th century and the likelihood of seeing such a streak since 2000, when much of the warming has been observed.
The reportState of the Climate confirmed last year's heat resulted from the combined influence of long-term temperature rising and a strong El Nino early in the year.
The symptoms of man-made climate change showed up all over the planet in 2016, from shriveled icecaps at the poles to deadly heat waves in the tropics, as record concentrations of greenhouse gases built up in the atmosphere.
Before that, it was 2014.
The lower troposphere - the atmosphere right above the Earth's surface - had the highest temperature on record, and the upper ocean's heat was close to a record.
"Drought in 2016 was among the most extensive in the post-1950 record", said the report.
The report said that levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide - all the major greenhouse gases that drive global warming - had risen to new heights.
A range of key climate and weather indicators show the planet is growing increasingly warm, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down, said the annual State of the Climate Report.
It is unclear what effect the report will have on President Donald Trump's stance on climate change.
Global sea level was also the highest on record, at 82 millimeters higher than the average in 1993, when records began to be recorded with the current method.
The draft report was compiled by scientists at 13 federal agencies and concluded that Americans were already starting to feel the result of climate change, despite expectations that the change would not be felt for several more decades.
The report was leaked online in January but received little notice until the Times published the findings this week.
Translation: As Earth's climate changes it directly affects sea level rise, greenhouse gas concentrations and land and ocean temperatures.
The report is released every year and is led by the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. The National Academy of Sciences has approved the study, and authors are now waiting on the Trump administration to give the approval for its release.
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