Monday, January 09, 2017

2016 officially hottest on record, European Union says

Last year was the hottest on record, says a report by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service. Researchers found that global surface temperatures in 2016 averaged 58.64 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.3 degrees "higher than estimated before the Industrial Revolution ushered in wide use of fossil fuels," Alister Doyle reports for Reuters. Temperatures last year were .36 degrees higher than the record high temperatures in 2015.

The report found that the Arctic had the sharpest rise in temperatures, "while many other areas of the globe, including parts of Africa and Asia, also suffered unusual heat," Doyle writes. "A few parts of South America and Antarctica were cooler than normal." The report, released Thursday, was the first to compile data for all of 2016. (Copernicus graphic: Annual global surface temperatures from 1880 to 2016; note that the chart's left-hand baseline is not zero degrees Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but the temperature average at the beginning of the industrial era in Europe and the U.S.  The right-hand scale shows the cumulative increase in temperature from that era.)

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