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2016 will be the hottest year on record, Global climate agency says

By Peter Muiruri | July 28th 2016


The World Meteorological Organisation has said that 2016 will be the hottest year on record, with carbon dioxide levels, the main catalyst for global warming, reaching new heights. In a new report released last week, the body says that each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest consecutive month in record.

Using data from both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, the UN agency states that warmer than average conditions dominated across much of the globe’s surface, resulting in the highest temperature departure for the month of June since global temperature records began in 1880.

This may come as a surprise to Kenyans since the month of June is mostly characterised by biting cold. “This was also the 14th consecutive month the monthly global temperature record has been broken — the longest such streak in 137 years of record keeping. Another month, another record. Decades-long trends of climate change are reaching new climaxes,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

The main culprit, as expected, is the 2015/2016 El Nino phenomenon. According to Taalas, El Nino may come and go but climate change caused by greenhouse gases hardly disappears.

“This underlines more starkly than ever the need to approve and implement the Paris Agreement on climate change, and to speed up the shift to low carbon economies and renewable energy,” he said. The Paris Climate Agreement, adopted by 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last December in Paris, calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.

Some 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement at a ceremony in New York on April 22, far exceeding the historical record for first-day signatures to an international agreement.

Signing must be followed by the deposit of the instrument of ratification or acceptance. So far, 19 countries have ratified the agreement.

Many others, including the United States and China, have publicly committed to joining the Paris Agreement this year.

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