Nature

UN Says 2016 Will Be the Hottest Year Ever Documented

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The UN is reporting that 2016 will very likely be the hottest year ever on record, passing up 2014 and 2015 which each became the warmest years previously. Weather.com notes that in the Northern Hemisphere, places in Russia and Alaska and Canada have even documented a 3 degrees Celsius rise on average which is a disturbing 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

At the beginning of the year, the rise in temperature was attributed in part to the weather system called El Niño. Now that it has run its course, climate change due to “greenhouse gas emissions from human activities remains the strongest factor,” according to The Guardian.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) secretary-general Petteri Taalas said, “Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen. Once in a generation’ heatwaves and flooding are becoming more regular.”

The extreme heat damaged farming lands across the world and impacted food security to over 60 million people. The Guardian also adds that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere met an all-time monthly high (407.7 ppm) in Hawaii.

It’s unknown what 2017 will bring since El Niño has calmed, so it may not break the 2016 record. Scientists are guessing that it will still be hotter than previous decades due to human impact on the environment.