About 150 years ago, we started to record the surface temperature of our planet in order to keep a regular check on our doings. But in the recent couple of years, our doing have resulted in large-scale increase in temperatures all across the globe but that hasn’t stopped us from controlling our needs.
The 12-month time period from June 2015 to May 2016 was the hottest 12-month period on record. And by the end of 2016, this record will further extend. It will be without precedent: the first time that we’ve seen three consecutive record-breaking hot years.
The planet just set the record for hottest year in each of the past 9 months. The time period for being the hottest year has been going on since September 2015. This has been in accordance to global surface temperature data compiled by Kevin Cowtan and Robert Way.
The above illustration is by Dana Nuccitelli. Running 12-month average global surface temperature using data compiled by Kevin Cowtan and Robert Way.
The reason for such raised temperatures can also be directed to the climatic phenomenon called El Niño event. Under this event warm water from the ocean surface is temporarily brought to the Earth’s surface that warms global surface temperatures. But temperatures are record-breaking because the El Niño was hyperactive on top of human-caused global warming.
Yellow shows the warmest temperatures. Image by AP
The 1997–1998 witnessed a similar El Niño event where the hottest temperature record for 12-months was set in each month from October 1997 till August 1998.
It is obvious that the September 1997–August 1998 was the hottest 12-month period on record at the time but what scares is that it is now on the 60th place.
Since the Industrial Revolution began, the Earth’s average temperature rose by 1°C. Global surface temperatures are now more than 0.3°C hotter than they were in 1997–1998.
With Apr update, 2016 still > 99% likely to be a new record (assuming historical ytd/ann patterns valid). pic.twitter.com/GTN9sPL2D7
— Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) May 14, 2016
The calendar year 2016 is expected to be the hottest year on record even after the El Nino phenomenon seems to have taken a backseat. The Earth is warming rapidly at a rate 20–50 times faster than the rate of natural global warming.
Recently, around 195 countries pledged to control the carbon emission in order to bring the global temperature down. Fortunately or unfortunately, countries like China, India and Canada are the only few nations that are moving in the correct direction with their policies.
Image Credit: wallpaperXI
Originally published in The Guardian