Records collected across the globe prove that surface temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere set new highs during 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, providing further evidence of a warming planet. As previously reported on The Plain Facts, global surface temperatures in 2016 were the highest on record, the third straight year of record-setting temperatures. Also, concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, rose to record high values in 2016. The global annual average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration was 402.9 parts per million (ppm), surpassing 400 ppm for the first time in the modern atmospheric measurement record, and surpassing the carbon dioxide concentration in ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years. This was the largest annual increase observed in 58 years of record keeping.
Sea levels kept increasing in 2016, with the global average sea level rising to a new record high in 2016. This increase was about 3.25 inches higher than the 1993 average, the year that marks the beginning of the satellite altimeter record. This increase also marks the sixth consecutive year that global sea level has increased compared to the previous year. Over the past two decades, the sea level has increased at an average rate of about 0.13 inch per year, with the highest rates of increase in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans.
These findings come from the State of the Climate report just published by the American Meteorological Society. The report is led by editors from NOAA, and combines the findings of nearly 500 scientists from more than 60 countries around the world and reflects tens of thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets.
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