2016 global temperatures highest in 137 years
Temperatures increased 1.15C above the 20th century average, US agency says.
WASHINGTON (AA) – The first three months of the year recorded the Earth’s highest temperates for the period since 1880, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Tuesday.
“For 2016 year to date (January-March), the average temperature for the globe was 2.07 degrees F [1.15 Celsius] above the 20th-century average, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information,” NOAA said in a statement.
The temperature for last three months surpassed the 2015 record that was 0.50 degrees Fahrenheit above the average of previous years.
The agency said that in March, with 54.9 degrees Fahrenheit, the global average temperature was 2.20 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.
“March also marked the 11th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken, and is the longest such streak in NOAA’s 137-year climate record.”
The record increase before this year was in 1998 when the average temperature increased by 0.42 degrees Fahrenheit.
The agency noted “a similar strength El Niño occurred” that year which caused a global high temperature.
El Niño is a climatic condition associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean.
“As Earth continues to warm and is influenced by phenomena such as El Niño, global temperature records are piling up,” the agency said.
The Arctic was also impacted by record-high global heat, the agency noted.
“Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent for the year at 5.61 million square miles March 24, the lowest annual maximum extent in the satellite record,” it said. “This was 431,000 square miles below average and 5,000 square miles below the previous record from 2015.”