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2016 set to be world’s hottest year on record, says UN

21st July

Ice melting image

June marked 14th month of record heat for land and oceans with average global temperature reaching 1.3C

The world is on track for its hottest year on record and levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have reached new highs, further fuelling global warming, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has said.

June marked the 14th consecutive month of record heat for land and oceans, the United Nations agency said on Thursday. It called for the speedy implementation of a pact reached last December to limit climate change by shifting from fossil fuels to green energy by 2100.

The average temperature in the first six months of 2016 was 1.3C warmer than the pre-industrial era in the late 19th century, according to Nasa.

“This underlines more starkly than ever the need to approve and implement the Paris climate change agreement, and to speed up the shift to low carbon economies and renewable energy,” said the WMO secretary general, Petteri Taalas.

Under December’s Paris agreement, nearly 200 governments agreed to limit global warming to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial times, while “pursuing efforts” for a ceiling of just 1.5C. Temperatures are already nudging towards that lower limit.

“The heat has been especially pronounced in the Arctic, resulting in a very early onset of the annual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and Arctic sea ice,” the WMO said.

David Carlson, director of the WMO’s climate research programme, told a news briefing: “What we’ve seen for the first six months of 2016 is really quite alarming. We would have thought it would take several years to warm up like this. We don’t have as much time as we thought.”

To read the full article on The Guardian, please click here.