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Scientists Say 2016 Is Hottest Year Ever Recorded

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Scientists Say 2016 Is Hottest Year Ever Recorded
Record-warm months dominated in 2016, including: January, February, March, April, May, June, July and August, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Photo credit: NOAA

Climate scientists are all but assured that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded. If that sounds familiar, 2014 and 2015 were also the hottest years since record-keeping began in 1880.

"2016 will break the global temperature record that was set in 2015, which broke the record that was set in 2014," climate change scientist Noah S. Diffenbaugh, professor of the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University, told The Mercury News.

A number of experts and government organizations had already predicted that 2016 was Earth's hottest year in recorded history.

Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that El Nino drove much of the record warmth during the first two-thirds of 2016, while a weak La Nina cooled the globe down during the past few months. However, the period between January to November of 2016 was the warmest such period on record.

"The average global temperature was 1.69 degrees F above the average of 57.2 degrees, surpassing the record set in 2015 by 0.13 degrees F," the agency stated.

Recent headlines from publications around the world—from Houston, Texas to Singapore—have declared extreme heat. Meanwhile, the Arctic in particular saw "a meteoric rise" in October heat that contributed to the region's record low sea ice extent for the month, which clocked in at 28.5 percent below the 1981-2010 average.

According to The Mercury News, both NOAA and NASA are expected to announce that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded on Jan. 18, two days before the presidential inauguration of notorious climate change denier Donald Trump.

"This reality is not going to simply disappear by denying that it exists, or by dismissing it as a hoax, or by claiming that it is too complicated to understand or to address," Diffenbaugh added.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released an analysis in November which linked human-induced climate change to extreme heat. In fact, some studies cited by the WMO determined that greenhouse gas emissions raise the probability of extreme heat events as much as 10 times or more.

"With 2016 set to be the warmest year on record, it is urgent that all the world intensify efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouses gases," Richard Seager, a leading climate scientist at Columbia University, told The Mercury News.

Meanwhile, the president-elect has plans to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, axe President Obama's signature Clean Power Plan that reduces emissions from power plants, and has nominated an entire cabinet of fossil fuel "puppets" and executives.

Although Trump claimed he's keeping an "open mind" about climate change, during an interview with Fox News Sunday, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that the president-elect's default position on climate change is that "most of it is a bunch of bunk."

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