2016 set to be hottest year on record as climate change raises global temperature

This year is on course to be the hottest year ever recorded, according to international climate experts.

Experts are predicting 2016 will be the hottest year on record, with the average global temperature exceeding the record level set last year. Picture: Getty Images

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations, has revealed the average global temperature for 2016 is set to be the highest since measurements began in the 19th century.

It is predicted to exceed the record high set last year, which in turn had broke the previous record set in 2014.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Preliminary data up to September shows this year‘s temperatures are up by around 1.2°C since the late 1800s.

This is nearing the limit outlined in the historic Paris climate agreement, which came into force earlier this month.

Signatories have agreed to keep global temperature rise within 2°C above pre-industrial levels, while working towards a limit of 1.5°C.

This year’s temperatures were boosted by the El Niño weather event.

WMO said 16 of the 17 hottest years have occurred this century, with the only exception being 1998, which was also an El Niño year.

WMO said 16 of the 17 hottest years have occurred this century. The only exception has been 1998, which was also an El Niño year.

World leaders and experts are currently in Morocco for the latest round of UN climate talks. Scottish environment minister Roseanna Cunningham is also taking part.

“Another year. Another record,” said Petteri Taalas, head of the WMO.

“The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016.

“The extra heat from the powerful El Niño event has disappeared. The heat from global warming will continue.”

He added: “We are used to measuring temperature records in fractions of a degree, and so this is different.

“Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen.

“‘Once in a generation’ heatwaves and flooding are becoming more regular. Sea level rise has increased exposure to storm surges associated with tropical cyclones.”

According to the UN high commissioner for refugees, 19.2 million people were displaced due to weather, water and geophysical hazards in 2015 – more than twice the number fleeing war.

Campaigners say tougher action is needed to limit the effects of warming.

“Our governments are simply not responding to the crisis with the tremendous urgency it demands,” said Mary Church, head of campaigns for Friends of the Earth Scotland.

She says support for high-carbon development such as fracking and North Sea oil and gas in Scotland will exacerbate the problem.