SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND— A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed that 2016 was a year of extreme heat, surpassing 2015 as the warmest year since records began 137 years ago.
According to the NOAA's 2016 State of the Climate report, a strong El Nino coupled with long-term global warming led to land and sea surface temperatures reaching unprecedented highs in 2016, making it the hottest year on record.
The planet's greenhouse gas emissions likewise went up, with carbon dioxide concentrations increasing to more than 400 parts per million for the first time ever.
Global sea levels are at its highest, at 3.25 inches more than the 1993 average. The past two decades have seen sea levels go up at an average of 0.13 inches annually, with the western Pacific and Indian Oceans showing the highest rates of increase.
Water and precipitation cycles exhibited extremes, with droughts plaguing parts of Africa and South America. Other areas, meanwhile, were beset by floods and tropical cyclones, which in 2016 numbered 93.
The report's findings emphasize that the symptoms of climate change show no sign of slowing, and will likely intensify unless major changes are made.
But with recent blows to efforts combating climate change — including the Trump administration pulling out of the Paris agreement, it seems we'll see more record-breaking weather in the years to come.