Published: Fri, January 20, 2017
Research | By Elizabeth Houston

Earth Sets Warming Record for Third Straight Year

Across the globe, 2016 was the hottest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Every year since 2000 has been among the 20 hottest years on record.

"2016 is remarkably the third record year in a row in this series", NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt said in a statement.

After continuous months of breaking warm temperature records - 2016 has been officially declared as one of the hottest years ever.

NASA states that this development continues a decades-long warming trend that has been observed with global surface temperatures.

The average temperature across the world's land and ocean surfaces was 58.69, or 1.69 degrees above the 20th century average of 57, NOAA declared.

This means 16 of the 17 hottest years have all occurred during this century, with 1998 the only outlier. Phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña warm or cool the upper tropical Pacific Ocean and result in corresponding global wind and weather pattern variations.

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North America also had its warmest year on record. You've heard the story - the polar ice caps will melt, seas will rise, and New York City, among numerous world's great cities, will sink under water.

The average global temperature was around 0.07 ºC warmer than the previous record-holder year - 2015 - and around 1.1 ºC higher than pre-Industrial times.

Although variables like weather station placement can affect temperature readings, NASA said its designation of 2016 as the warmest in recorded history could be made with 95 percent certainty. Researchers estimate that the impact of El Niño in 2016 was 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.12 degrees Celsius).

Government scientists say the Earth sizzled to a third straight heat record a year ago.

For eight consecutive months a year ago - January to August - the globe experienced record warm heat. The buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been steadily raising global temperatures for more than half a century now.

Both organizations use extensive methods and resources to measure global temperature.

The reality of Climate Change has become painfully apparent in recent years, thanks to extended droughts in places like California, diminishing water tables around the world, rising tides, and coastal storms of increasing intensity and frequency.

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