Climate report: Earth hotter, seas higher

James Marshall
August 11, 2017

Last year's global weather was the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, a USA government report said Thursday.

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.

Temperatures, the rise of the oceans and the greenhouse gas emissions have reached unprecedented levels in 2016, a new dark year for the climate, shows Thursday an global study of reference. The report is congressionally mandated every four years.

According to the report, the global annual average of atmospheric Carbon dioxide concentration was 402.9 parts per million (ppm) in 2016 and surpassed the 400ppm mark for the first time, when compared to ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years.

Scientists fear that the report be censored because it contradicted the assertion of Donald Trump and members of his cabinet, according to which "the human contribution to climate change is not demonstrated".

But as humanity continues to rely on fossil fuels for energy, unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases are polluting the atmosphere, acting like a blanket to capture heat around the Earth, the report emphasised.

Meanwhile global sea level reached new highs a year ago and was on average about 82 mm (3.25 inches) higher than the 1993 level.

In the Arctic, the most sensitive area to global warming, the average surface temperature previous year was two degrees above the average from 1981-2010, beating all the records.

Among the findings, the annual global surface temperature reached a record warmth for the third year in a row, ranging from 0.45° to 0.56° Celsius above the 1981-2010 average.

The State of Climate is based on information from more than 500 scientists from 60 countries using tens of thousands of measurements from independent data.

Several countries, including Mexico and India, have recorded annual temperature records in 2016.

In the sensitive polar regions, sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic hit record lows.

"Drought in 2016 was among the most extensive in the post-1950 record", said the report.

In 2016, meteorologists recorded 93 named tropical storms worldwide - above the 1981 to 2010 average of 82, but fewer than the 101 storms in 2015.

It confirmed the heat resulted from the combined influence of long-term temperature rising and a strong El Nino - a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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