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Seven Climate Records Set So Far in 2016

By Adam Vaughan, The Guardian

The Arctic had its warmest winter on record in 2015-16. Arctic sea ice is melting at a rate that by September could see it beat the record low set in 2012. The maximum extent of sea ice in winter was at a record low, and the extent in May was the lowest for that month ever, by more than 500,000 sq km.

Credit: The Guardian

Since October, every month has been the hottest on record. Every month this year has been the hottest on record globally for that month. May, data published by NASA revealed, was no exception. NASA’s dataset, one of three main global surface temperature records, shows February recorded the highest anomaly against long term average temperatures.

Credit: The Guardian

India has been record hot. India recorded its hottest day ever on May 19. The mercury in Phalodi, in the desert state of Rajasthan, rose to 124°F (51°C), as a nationwide drought that has affected more than 300 million people marched on, leaving armed guards at dams, and reservoirs well below their usual levels.

Credit: The Guardian

Alaska, along with the rest of the Arctic, has experienced record-breaking heat. Spring was the warmest on record in the state, with an average temperature of 32°F (0°C), and the average year-to-date temperature has been 5.5°C above the long term average.

Carbon dioxide levels are forecast to pass 400ppm. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been breaking records every year for decades, but the size of the margin by which the record is forecast to break the annual record in 2016 is striking and itself a record. The increase for 2016 is expected to be 3.1 parts per million, up from an annual average of 2.1.

Australia recorded its warmest autumn on record in 2016. Australia, no stranger to record-breaking heat, just clocked up its hottest autumn yet. Average temperatures were 1.86°C above the average, beating the previous record of 1.64°C above average, set in 2005.

Credit: The Guardian

2016 has seen mass bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef, a natural wonder and world heritage site, experienced its worst ever coral bleaching event, as a blob of warm water made its way around the world. An aerial study found that just 7 percent of the reef escaped bleaching, which can lead to the coral permanently dying.

Credit: The Guardian

Reprinted with permission from The Guardian