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PopWrapped | Science

2016 Breaks Global Records With Rising Temperatures

Rain Varela | PopWrapped Author

Rain Varela

Updated 04/28/2016 4:38pm
2016 Breaks Global Records With Rising Temperatures | temperatures
Media Courtesy of Ooyuz

2016 is proving to be record breaking when it comes to highs in global temperature.

The months of January, February, and March have all set temperatures higher than those of the same time period as last year, according to data gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

2015 is considered to be the hottest year in record, but 2016 is shaping up to be even hotter.

NOAA released its finding last Tuesday, which marks it as the third agency -- together with NASA and Japan's Meteorological Association -- to have reached the same conclusion.

This warmer temperatures can be attributed, in part, to the current El Niño phenomenon, which has struck the Pacific. 

Jessica Blunden, lead author of the NOAA report and a climate scientist, also pointed out that the effects of El Niño were amplified by emissions of greenhouse gasses.

To get an idea how much of the global rise in temperatures can be attributed to global warming or El Niño, the scientists at NOAA compared this year's phenomenon to the last great one, which happened in 1997-1998. Dr. Blunden said that, compared to the previous record-setting El Niño of '97 and '98, this year had an additional 0.8 degrees.

But there is good news: the high temperatures in March may be the last of the current El Niño; the current global heatwave may fall, since La Niña, which follows, will bring in storms, prompting a cool down.

Unfortunately, the consequences of two record setting years in global high temperatures is inescapable. Already, Dr. Blunded has pointed out seeing the most abnormal weather on Earth in its Arctic zone, with the waters warming to a high of six degrees more than the average. 

Senior scientist for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Kevin Trenberth said that these conditions are not "a new normal".

Still, leaders are not standing idly by. This week, on Earth day, more than 175 countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

This comes four months after the deal was struck in Paris to lower greenhouse emissions on a global scale, but more needs to be done. 

A major factor in the agreement is to limit the increase of global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Sadly, we are already nearing that threshold.

“I don’t see at all how we’re going to not go through the 1.5 degree-number in the next decade or so,” Dr. Trenberth said.

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