Three Consecutive Years of Record Global Warmth in 2014-15-16

2016 marks three consecutive years of record warmth for the globe. Since the start of the 21st century, the annual global temperature record has been broken five times (2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016), based on data recently reported by the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

With the contribution of eight consecutive high monthly temperature records set from January to August 2016, and the remainder of the months ranking among their five warmest, 2016 became the warmest year in NOAA's 137-year series. This is the third consecutive year a new global annual temperature record has been set. The average global temperature across land and ocean surface areas for 2016 was 0.94°C above the 20th century average of 13.9°C, surpassing the previous record warmth of 2015 by 0.04°C. The global temperatures in 2016 were majorly influenced by strong El Niño conditions that prevailed at the beginning of 2016.

This marks the fifth time in the 21st century a new record high annual temperature has been set (along with 2005, 2010, 2014, and 2015) and also marks the 40th consecutive year (since 1977) that the annual temperature has been above the 20th century average. To date, all 16 years of the 21st century rank among the seventeen warmest on record (1998 is currently the eighth warmest.) The five warmest years have all occurred since 2010.

Overall, the global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.07°C per decade since 1880 and at an average rate of 0.17°C per decade since 1970. Much of the record warmth for the globe can be attributed to record warmth in the global oceans. The annually-averaged temperature for ocean surfaces around the world was 0.75°C higher than the 20th century average, edging out the previous record of 2015 by 0.01°C.

Europe experienced its third warmest year, behind only 2014 (record warm) and 2015 (second warmest), making the past three years the three warmest in the 107-year continental record. The annually-averaged temperature across the United Kingdom for 2016 was 0.5°C above its 1981–2010 national average, falling just below the 10 warmest years on record, but was 0.1°C warmer than 2015.

For more information visit the NOAA 2016 report: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201613