2016 was hottest year on record, worldwide report confirms

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A new State of the Climate report confirmed that 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of recordkeeping.

The surface of the Earth experienced record warmth for a third consecutive year, as well as other attributes consistent with a warming Earth, according to the 2016 State of the Climate report released Thursday.

The report also said the global surface temperature observed was the highest on record last year, aided by the strong El Niño early in the year. "Several markers such as land and ocean temperatures, sea level, and greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere broke records set just one year prior".

President Trump has not only denied the link, calling climate change a hoax, but reversed course on US policy on greenhouse gas emissions.

The ominous news comes two months after President Donald Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Paris accord on global warming, a decision that sparked widespread worldwide criticism.

A new federal report could challenge the Trump administration's dismissive stance on global warming, finding the planet was hotter past year than in well over a century of observation and witnessed more climate disruption than perhaps any point in modern history. Syria and Nicaragua are the only countries that have not signed the agreement.

The authors of the leaked study disagree with that stance, writing in the report: "Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change". The global annual average atmospheric Carbon dioxide concentration was 402.9 parts per million (ppm), which surpassed 400 ppm for the first time in the modern atmospheric measurement record and in ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years. Both land and sea surface temperatures set new highs.

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The spike was greatest in the Arctic, where temperatures were 2.6 degrees above the 1981-2010 average and 3.6 degrees higher than they were in 1900.

The Antarctic, too, experienced record low sea ice coverage, and overall, there was less snow and ice on planet Earth than normal a year ago.

Northeastern Brazil marked its fifth consecutive year of drought, the longest dry spell on record in this region.

The team says the strong, warm current caused by the El Niño weather pattern usually prevents hurricanes from truly taking shape. On September 10, the Arctic sea ice annual minimum extent tied with 2007 for the second lowest value on record, at 1.60 million square miles, 33 percent smaller than average.

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

Record high annual temperatures swept Mexico and India.

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