A new State of the Climate report released today by the American Meteorological Society has confirmed that 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of recordkeeping.
The report was compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Weather and Climate at the National Centers for Environmental Information. It’s based on contributions from scientists from around the world, according to those who compiled the report.
The report provides updates on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data from environmental monitoring stations and instruments.
“Surface temperature and carbon dioxide concentration, two of the more publicly recognized indicators of global-scale climate change, set new highs during 2016, as did several surface and near-surface indicators and essential climate variables,” the report states. “Notably, the increase in CO2 concentration was the largest in the nearly six-decade observational record.”
Highlights of the report include:
- The global surface temperature was the highest on record.
- The global lower tropospheric temperature was the highest on record.
- Sea surface temperatures were the highest on record.
- The global sea level was the highest on record.
The report also shows that greenhouse gases were the highest on record.
“The annual global average carbon dioxide concentration at Earth’s surface surpassed 400 ppm (402.9 ± 0.1 ppm) for the first time in the modern atmospheric measurement record and in ice core records dating back as far as 800000 years,” the report states.
According to a paper published this week by University of Florida researchers, sea level rises in the Southeast occurred at a much faster rate than the rest of the world.
The paper focuses on the region north of Cape Hatteras, which has been labeled as a “hot spot,” where the acceleration of sea level rise over the past several decades exceeds that of global mean sea level. The paper in particular looks at sea level rise in the area from 2011 to 2015.
The rapid rise in the area has been attributed to processes that include longshore wind forcing, weakening of the Gulf Stream associated with decreased Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, what’s known as an inverse barometer effect and variability.
Scientists also proposed a new “mechanism” to explain the sea level rise in this area that could benefit flood-watchers, according to a New York Times story published on…