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    Not Just Hot Air: Climate Report Confirms 2016 Warmest Year on Record

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    Released Thursday by the American Meteorological Society, the latest State of the Climate report confirms 2016 was in fact the warmest year in the last 137 years worth of recordkeeping.

    Composed with the help of 500 scientists from 60 different countries, the report essentially puts paid to the notion that the world isn’t heating up.

    Thanks to an extensive drought and a strong El Niño, 2016’s global surface temperatures rose between 0.81 and 1.008 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1981 to 2010 average, the report indicated.

    ​Greenhouse gases in 2016 reached a new high. Measuring at 402.9 parts per million, carbon dioxide levels alone surpassed the 400 ppm concentration for the very first time in the last 800,000 years, as measured by ice core records, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    ​Mind you, this measurement didn’t even include other greenhouse gases such as methane or nitrous oxide. When compared to 2015 figures, CO2 levels increased by 3.5 ppm, which turned out to be the largest annual spike witnessed in 58 years.

    Global sea surface temps were also the highest on record in 2016. When compared to the 1950-to-2016 average warming rate of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit per century, the 2000-to-2016 rate was dramatically higher at 2.29 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Not to be left out, sea levels topped the charts in 2016 and ended up an average of 3.25 inches higher than satellite record keeping was first initiated 23 years ago. This was the sixth year in a row that sea levels had risen.

    ​The annual report, led by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, also noted that sea ice and snow cover was at its 37th consecutive year of overall loss. Sea ice declined at an average of 2.8 feet for the reporting glaciers.

    Political battles continue to be fought over how countries and the world as a whole will handle the climate crisis. But NOAA’s study appears to show that if nothing is done, things will only get worse.

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    climate change, global warming, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
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