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Hottest year on record as UN climate talks begin

By Emily Beament

Published 15/11/2016

Sixteen of the 17 hottest years on record will have occurred in the 21st century
Sixteen of the 17 hottest years on record will have occurred in the 21st century

This year is set to be the hottest year ever recorded globally, beating 2015's record temperatures, the World Meteorological Organisation has said.

Global temperatures this year are approximately 1.2C (2.16F) above pre-industrial levels and 0.88C (1.58F) above the average for 1961-1990, which the WMO uses as a reference period, provisional figures show.

As a result, 2016 is on track to be the hottest year in records dating back to the 19th century, and 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have occurred in the 21st century.

WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas said: "Another year, another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016."

The provisional assessment by the WMO has been released to inform the latest UN climate talks in Morocco, which are focusing on implementing the world's first comprehensive climate treaty, the Paris Agreement.

It comes as a study suggests carbon emissions have seen "almost no growth" in the past three years, marking a break from rapidly rising output in the previous decade and raising hopes that emissions may have peaked.

But the election of Donald Trump as the next US president has raised concerns about the international fight against climate change, which he has previously described as a hoax created by the Chinese to make American manufacturing uncompetitive.

The WMO assessment showed global temperatures for January to September 2016 were 0.88C above the 14C (57.2F) average for 1961-1990.

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