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11 August 2017, 02:37 | Dale Webster
Trump administration releases report confirming 2016 as hottest year since records began
"Drought in 2016 was among the most extensive in the post-1950 record", said the report.
A range of key climate and weather indicators show the planet is growing increasingly warm, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down, said the annual State of the Climate Report. Surface temperature and carbon dioxide concentration, two of the more publicly recognized indicators of global-scale climate change, set new highs during 2016, as did several surface and near-surface indicators and essential climate variables.
It says that 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of recordkeeping.
Global surface temperature was the highest on record.
The report came out just days after The New York Times published a draft US government report on climate, which said that the average temperature in the United States had risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and that recent decades had been the warmest in the past 1,500 years. And it is roughly double the trend of surface temperature warning since 1901.
Last year's global weather was the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, a USA government report said Thursday.
Greenhouse gases were found to be the highest on record, and the current level, 402.9 parts per million, surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in the modern atmospheric measurement record as well as in ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years.
But as humanity continues to rely on fossil fuels for energy, unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases are polluting the atmosphere, acting like a blanket to capture heat around the Earth, the report emphasised.
Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, accumulate in the atmosphere and trap heat that would otherwise escape into space. The average surface temperature of the planet has risen about 1.1 degrees Celsius (2.0 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 19th century, and the past 35 years have seen a majority of the warming, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001, according to NASA.
Not only is warming speeding up, but it is happening even faster up North.
The new study considers that each year is not independent of the ones coming before and after it, in contrast to previous estimates that assumed individual years are statistically independent from each other.
The draft report was compiled by scientists at 13 federal agencies and concluded that Americans were already starting to feel the result of climate change, despite expectations that the change would not be felt for several more decades. The numbers are the differences from the pre-industrial era, calculated as the average mean surface temperature of 1880-1899. Pruitt has said repeatedly that he does not believe human activity plays a large role in climate change.
The probability that this series of record-breaking years would be observed at some point since 2000 is less than 0.7 percent without the influence of human-caused climate change, but between 30 and 50 percent when the influence of human-caused climate change is considered, the new study finds.
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