2016 set to be hottest on record, stoked by man-made warming – WMO

The world is set to have its hottest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

MARRAKESH, MOROCCO (NOVEMBER 14, 2016) (REUTERS) – The world is set reach a new heat record in 2016 as global warming stokes more floods and rising sea levels, the U.N. weather agency said on Monday (November 14) at climate change talks in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said this year would be the warmest since records began in the late 19th century, with average surface temperatures 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times. 16 of the 17 hottest years recorded have been in this century.

“On instruments of record so far and if you look at the first nine months of this year, we are fairly high up again and we are breaking all the records. And it’s likely that we are going to reach this year 1.2 degrees warming level. We are going in the wrong direction if you think of the 1.5 degrees warming level which was agreed last year in Paris,” said Secretary-General of the WMO, Petteri Taalas.

The heat, with impacts such as melting ice in Greenland and damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, was stoked by an El Nino weather event in the Pacific early in the year, along with man-made greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels.

The Paris deal, backed by almost 200 nations including the United States, has an overriding goal of limiting the rise in temperatures to “well below” 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, ideally 1.5C (2.7F).

Earlier on Monday a scientific report projected that world carbon dioxide emissions were expected to stay flat for the third year in a row in 2016 and that U.S. emissions would fall by 1.7 percent in 2016, driven by declines in coal consumption.

The most damaging weather event in 2016 was Hurricane Matthew, which killed more than 500 people in Haiti, it said. The Yangtze basin in China had its worst summer floods since 1999, killing 310 people and causing an estimated $14 billion in damage.

Record daily temperatures were recorded from South Africa to Thailand. Canada had its worst recorded wildfire in May around Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Data from the U.N. refugee agency said 19.2 million people were displaced by weather, water, climate and hazards such as earthquakes in 2015, more than twice as many as for conflict and violence, it said.