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Climate report: Earth hotter, seas higher

11 August 2017

The comprehensive report came days after The New York Times publicized a draft of a separate major climate change report that is awaiting Trump administration approval.

The surface of the Earth experienced record warmth for a third consecutive year, as well as other attributes consistent with a warming Earth, according to the 2016 State of the Climate report released Thursday.

When the long-term warming trend from human-caused climate change is considered, the likelihood of 2014-2016 being the hottest consecutive years on record since 1880 rises to between 1 and 3 percent, according to the new study.

Several markers key as the temperatures at the surface of the globe, the level of the oceans and the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, have beaten the record of the previous year.

The report comes after President Donald Trump announced plans for the United States to quit the 2015 Paris climate accord. In the past year, planet-warming carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases jumped by the largest percentage on record, with the annual average topping 400 parts per million for the first time.

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In response to the past three years' record-breaking temperatures, authors of the new study calculated the likelihood of observing a three-year streak of record high temperatures since yearly global temperature records began in the late 19th century and the likelihood of seeing such a streak since 2000, when much of the warming has been observed.

The lower troposphere - the atmosphere right above the Earth's surface - had the highest temperature on record, and the upper ocean's heat was close to a record.

In the sensitive polar regions, sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic hit record lows.

The 27th annual State of the Climate report, prepared by more than 450 scientists from almost 60 countries under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's watch, said 2016 marked the third straight year of record warmth.

This represents a 6.3F (3.5C) increase since records began in 1900.

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Several countries, including Mexico and India, have recorded annual temperature records in 2016.

In 2016, meteorologists recorded 93 named tropical storms worldwide - above the 1981 to 2010 average of 82, but fewer than the 101 storms in 2015.

A heat wave of a week in the indian peninsula, with temperatures exceeding 44 degrees Celsius, has helped create a shortage of water for 330 million people and 300 people.

"Drought in 2016 was among the most extensive in the post-1950 record", said the report.

Meanwhile, the weather phenomenon known as El Nino, which warms waters around the equator in parts of the Pacific, was strong in the first half of 2016, leading to increasingly wet conditions in some places.

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Climate report: Earth hotter, seas higher