2016 Recorded as the Warmest Year Globally Since 1880: NASA
Temperatures, lifted mainly by man-made greenhouse gases and partly by a natural El Nino weather event.
World temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row in 2016, according to a report by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Climate extremes include unprecedented heat in India and ice melt in the Arctic, scientists said on Wednesday.
The findings, providing new signs of the impact of greenhouse gases, were issued two days before the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump, who questions whether climate change has a human cause.
Temperatures, lifted mainly by man-made greenhouse gases and partly by a natural El Nino weather event that released heat from the Pacific Ocean, beat the previous record in 2015, when 200 nations agreed a plan to limit global warming.
That peak had in turn eclipsed 2014.
Global temperature records date back to the 1880s. It was only the second run of three record-breaking years after 1939-41, said Deke Arndt of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.
Temperatures this year are unlikely to set a new record after the fading of El Nino, scientists said. But heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels, especially from China and the United States, will keep building up in the atmosphere.
"Unless we have a major volcanic eruption, I expect the record to be broken again within a few years," said Piers Forster, climate expert at the University of Leeds. Ash from big eruptions can dim sunlight.
(With inputs from Reuters and NASA.)
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