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World Meteorological Organisation assessment: 2016 set to be warmest ever

The assessment pointed out that the average global temperatures in 2015 had already gone beyond 1°C compared to pre-industrial times.

Written by Amitabh Sinha |
Updated: November 9, 2016 3:17:59 am

The current year is all set to overtake 2015 as the warmest year ever, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) warned on Tuesday in its latest assessment in which it also said that the period 2011-2015 was the warmest five-year period ever.

The WMO assessment was released at the ongoing annual climate change conference in Marrakesh where negotiators are working further to strengthen a global arrangement to keep temperatures from rising beyond 2°C as compared to pre-industrial times. The assessment pointed out that the average global temperatures in 2015 had already gone beyond 1°C compared to pre-industrial times.

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“Temperatures for the period (2011-2015) were 0.57°C above the average for the standard 1961-1990 reference period. This compares with the period 2006-2010, in which temperatures were 0.51°C above average, and is consistent with a continued sustained warming trend that has been apparent in global data since the mid-1970s,” the WMO said.

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It said that the first half of 2016 was 0.91°C hotter than the 1961-1990 reference period and 0.15°C more than the annual 2015 average. It said, at the time of writing the assessment, it was “likely” that the 2015 record would be exceeded this year.

“The warmest year on record to date was 2015, during which temperatures were 0.76°C above the 1961–1990 average. The year 2015 was also the first year in which global temperatures were more than 1°C above the pre-industrial average. The second-warmest year was 2014, which was 0.61°C above the 1961–1990 average, while 2013 ranks as the equal-fifth warmest year.”

The concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere showed a corresponding rise during this five-year period. “In 2015, the annual mean concentrations in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide were 400 parts per million (ppm), 1,845 parts per billion (ppb) and 328 ppb, respectively. These concentrations increased consistently throughout the period from 2011 onward, with annual rates of increase ranging between 1.9 and 2.9 ppm per year between 2011 and 2015 for carbon dioxide, between 5 and 9 ppb per year for methane and about 1 ppb for nitrous oxide,” the WMO said.

It counted Uttarakhand disaster of 2013 and the heat wave of 2015 among the major extreme weather events in the period 2011-2015 that were most probably a result of global warming.

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