2016 Set Another Global Temperature Record

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017

This global map provides a snapshot of regions of the Earth that exceeded long-term average temperatures. Areas in deep red set new high temperature records. Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

Each January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) releases national and global temperature data for the previous year. That data for 2016 was released this morning.

NOAA has led the world in collecting and disseminating global temperature data and maintains the longest dataset of such data—so the release of new data is always highly anticipated by climate scientists.

This week’s release of that data is of particular interest, as there has been growing concern within scientific circles that the U.S. Government, with the incoming Trump Administration, may stop collecting or releasing climate data. As that concern has grown, efforts have sprung up to archive that data on non-government websites.

I will be surprised if the Trump Administration blocks the continued collection and dissemination of climate change information, but we should soon find out.

In the mean time, presented here are some of the newly released data of temperature trends.

Temperature anomalies through 2016 showing global data and data for Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

Another year of record temperatures

The bottom line is that global temperatures have continued to increase. 2016 is the third year in a row that set global temperature records. The January-December average land and sea temperatures were 0.94°C (1.69°F) above the 20th Century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). This surpassed the previous temperature record (2015) by 0.04°C (0.07°F).

Various ways to show these temperature anomalies are shown in the graphs and maps that accompany this article. All are from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (previously the National Climatic Data Center).

In the contiguous Unites States, 2016 was the second-warmest year on record, after 2012.

This chart shows the 12 warmest years on record globally. All of these years have occurred since 1998. Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

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Along with founding the Resilient Design Institute in 2012, Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. To receive e-mail notices of new blogs, sign up at the top of the page.

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