2016 Hottest Year on Record

Analysis from the Met Office and WMO show that 2016 was the warmest on record. The Met Office’s provisional full-year figures for global average near-surface temperatures showed that last year was one of the warmest two years on record, marginally exceeding the record temperature of 2015. The analysis used the HadCRUT4 dataset, produced by the Met Office Hadley Centre and University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, which estimated global temperature. When compared to the 1961-1990 long-term average, this is +0.77±0.1 degC, compared to +0.76±0.1 degC for 2015.

The WMO - which uses data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and HadCRUT4, as well as reanalysis data from European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts and the Copernicus Climate Change Service - also confirmed 2016 was the hottest on record. Both stating it was 1.1 degC above the pre-industrial period (1850 to 1900). 

Peter Stott FRMetS, Acting Director of the Met Office Hadley Centre. He said: “The final figures confirm that 2016 was yet another extremely warm year. In the HadCRUT4 dataset the temperature for last year was very close to the year before, temperatures for 2016 exceeding those for 2015 by a small margin. 2015 was remarkable for having stood out so clearly from previous years as the warmest year since 1850 and now 2016 turns out to have been just as warm.

“A particularly strong El Niño event contributed about 0.2C to the annual average for 2016, which was about 1.1C above the long term average from 1850 to 1900. However, the main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

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