At the current rate, 2016 may become the hottest year in history

At the current rate, 2016 may become the hottest year in history

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Carbon dioxide levels - the biggest cause of climate change - also broke records between January and June

Average temperatures around the world have broken another record in the first half of the year, anticipating that 2016 may become the hottest year since measurements have been made, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said.

In this period, the thaw in the Arctic has occurred earlier and faster, an irrefutable indicator of the rate at which climate change is advancing.

Climate change trend

The WMO, which acts as a scientific arm of the United Nations and is the world authority on climate issues, revealed that levels of carbon dioxide - the biggest cause of climate change - also broke records between January and June.

The average temperature for the first half of this year was 1.3 degrees Celsius above the average for the pre-industrial era, at the end of the 19th century.

This past June was the fourteenth warmest consecutive month on both land and ocean surfaces and the thirty-eighth consecutive month in which temperatures were above the 20th century average.

The last time world temperatures were below that average was in December 1984.

“Another month, another record, and so on and on. The trend towards climate change is reaching new scales, intensified by the strong El Niño phenomenon between 2015 and 2016 ”, explained the secretary general of the organization, Petteri Taalas.

Although El Niño has disappeared, climate change caused by greenhouse gases that contain heat has not diminished at all, explained WMO Director of Climate Research David Carlson at a press conference.

Extreme phenomena

The consequence is that the world will face more heat waves, very intense rains and tropical cyclones of greater impact, according to experts.

Meanwhile, the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere this year have exceeded the symbolic barrier of 400 parts per million and the trend is upward.

In the Arctic, the heat has led to the annual thaw occurring early.

Today, the extent of the Arctic Sea in midsummer covers 40 percent of what it used to cover in the 1970s and early 1980s.

WMO has also observed that rainfall has varied significantly around the world.

While a very arid season has been experienced in Spain, northern Colombia, northeastern Brazil, Chile, southern Argentina, and various parts of Russia, wetter-than-normal conditions have been recorded in northern Argentina, northern and central Europe, in Australia and in various areas of central and southern Asia.

EFE Green

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