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Climate Change: Why 2016 May Be World's Hottest Year on Record

Nov 16, 2016 10:26 AM EST
What will happen to the world if it gets warmer?
What will happen to the world if it gets warmer?
(Photo : Getty Images)

Just last year, the Earth exceeded "pre-industrial" temperatures, which meant that the planet is 1.5 degrees Celsius hotter than before the Industrial Revolution. This shows that after more than 200 years, Earth has crossed normal temperature levels, and scientists are worried that this increase might continue in the future.

What scientists are afraid of may have actually come true. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 90 percent of the average daily temperatures in 2016 have exceeded the recorded temperature last year. Almost all daily averages since the beginning of the year have reached record high. This makes 2016 as the most likely candidate for the world's hottest year on record.

According to the status of the global climate this year, from January to September, the temperatures are 0.88 above the average baseline used by the WMO. In 2015, they were only 0.77 higher than the baseline. Whether or not the temperatures from October to December decrease significantly, the fate of 2016 is not likely to change.

All these events are, of course, attributed to the ongoing reports and issues on climate change. One of the factors thought to be the culprit of the increasingly high temperatures is the El Nino phenomenon. It was also seen that the Arctic Sea ice continues to melt in significant amounts.  

Also, some ice sheets have melted earlier than normal. Though this year's El Nino had an impact on the temperatures, scientists still believe that the major cause of the heat is the continuous increase of CO2 emissions. In fact, this may be directly linked to the news earlier this year that the world has finally exceeded the "comfortable" threshold. 

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