By Elisa Jiménez Alonso
For the third year in a row, global temperatures have risen above historical figures making 2016 the hottest year on record. 16 of the 17 hottest years ever recorded, have happened since the new millennium began.
Scientists agree that even though the warming trend over the past few years has been influenced by a very strong El Niño event, man-made climate change is still the main culprit. Peter Stott, Acting Director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, explains that “a particularly strong El Niño event contributed about 0.2° C to the annual average for 2016, which was about 1.1° C above the long term average from 1850 to 1900. However, the main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
The planet’s average surface temperature has risen around 1.1° C since the late 1800s, according to NASA and the Met Office. However, most of that warming occurred in the past three decades.
Uncertainties always remain, but Stott emphasises that they “are much smaller than the overall warming since pre-industrial times.”
Climate change adaptation efforts are without a doubt now more important than ever and these results should grab the attention of decision-makers everywhere.
Watch the video below to learn more about the findings.