Photo: Atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. Source: NOAA
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations grew at their fastest level in 2015, increasing by 3.05 parts per million (ppm) compared with the previous year.
The measurements were taken from NOAA’s Mauna Loa observatory, based in Hawaii, with detailed records for the last 56 years. 2015 is now the fourth consecutive year where carbon dioxide concentration has exceed 2ppm.
Photo: Surface temperature analysis for February 2016 Source: NASA/GISS
Prior to the official statistics being released, February 2016 was already being labelled as the warmest month on record. NASA have now confirmed that global average temperatures for February 2016 were 1.35°C warmer than the mean.
According to data released by a US government agency, average global temperatures for June this year were the highest for that month since records began in 1880.
A two-week period in June saw a rash of violent flooding across four different continents. In the early morning of Friday 11th June, 20 people were killed after heavy rain in Arkansas, USA, saw water levels in the Little Missouri river rise at up to 2.4m per hour, causing a wall of water to tear through busy campsites at the Ouachita National Forest. On 15th June it was the turn of the French Riviera to suffer under a deluge, when the region experienced its worst flooding since 1827.
The cold snap that hit South Africa in June, leading to incessant moaning from English football commentators who had failed to pack appropriately for the World Cup, had a far more malign impact on the nation's wildlife than it did on its showpiece sporting event. Around 600 African penguins, already an endangered species, were killed by the icy temperatures, heavy rain and significant wind chill over a two day period in mid-June on Bird Island, Algoa Bay in Eastern Cape province. The victims were mainly young chicks whose downy feathers provide scant protection against the elements.