- Reuters/Nacho Doce
Last year was the hottest year on record, and it’s only going to get worse.
Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, tweeted last week that he estimated there was a 99% chance that 2016 would have the dubious distinction of beating 2015’s record, purely based on data from January to March of this year alone.
This past March was the warmest month ever recorded – though it was likely influenced by an abnormally strong El Niño (a warm band of Pacific Ocean water that contributes to warming weather) – for the eleventh consecutive month in a row, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization.
And the world’s average temperature for the first three months of 2016 was 2.07 degrees Farenheit above the 20th Century average, according to NOAA.
According to Bloomberg, 15 of the 16 hottest years on record occured in the 21st century, and since 1980, the world has set a new annual temperature record every three years.
If these trends continue, global surface temperatures could reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures (a crucial metric for climate warming) even before the Paris climate agreement comes into effect, according to The New Scientist.
In other words, this accelerated warming is showing no signs of stopping.