Climate scientists continue to sound the alarm: Global warming fueled record temperatures in 2016

Scientists say that 2016 has been confirmed as the warmest year on record. (Photo: Getty/EyeEm)

The evidence behind global climate change continues to mount, and scientists keep speaking out. Now they hope the world will listen.

The latest international climate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirms that 2016 was the third consecutive year of record global heat.

On Thursday afternoon the American Meteorological Society published the 27th annual “State of the Climate” report, which verifies last year surpassed 2015 as the hottest since record keeping began in 1880.

Based on preliminary data, NASA and NOOA had made the same assessment back in January, but this week’s report is considered definitive.

“We’re scientists, and we’re providing objective information,” Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., told Yahoo News. “We don’t go into policy, but we provide the information for people who want to go further with that.”

According to the report, the effect of long-term global warming and a powerful El Niño early on pushed 2016 into record-setting warmth. The global average sea level reached a new record high last year as well, to 3.25 inches above the average level in 1993, which marks the beginning of the satellite altimeter record.

Scientists also said that the average Arctic land surface temperature continued to warm and global ice and snow cover continued to decline. Sea ice extents in the Antarctic hit record daily and monthly lows in August and November.

The American Meteorological Society released the most recent “State of the Climate” report with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Photo: NOAA)

The “State of the Climate” report is based on contributions from nearly 500 scientists from more than 60 countries, using tens of thousands of measurements from several independent data sets. This summary of the global climate confirms data released on Jan. 18 based on analyses from scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

Blunden said the use of additional independent data sets distinguishes this report from what came before.

“The big difference in this report is we don’t just look at NOAA data. There are about four different independent data sets we looked at to come to this conclusion,” Blunden told Yahoo News. “It’s not just NOAA who is agreeing with it. NASA, the U.K. Met Office and the Japan Meteorological Agency are agreeing.”

Since the previous data was released mere days before President Trump’s inauguration, this peer-reviewed report is the most thorough assessment of climate change officially released during the Trump era.

Deke Arndt, chief of the climate-monitoring branch at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, described the report as diagnostic when asked if anyone from the White House had weighed in on it or questioned its findings.

“This report is a diagnostic report. It basically diagnoses what is happening in the climate system,” Arndt said on a conference call. “It’s intended to provide intelligence to those sort of decision makers that you’re talking about.”

Concentrations of major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere also reached to new highs in 2016. For instance, the global average concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary driver of anthropogenic climate change, in the atmosphere reached 402.9 parts per million (ppm). This was the first time on record that CO2 concentration exceeded 400 ppm. The consensus of climate scientists is that the maximum safe level is 350.

Read more from Yahoo News:

  • Immigration critics urge Liberals to come up with answers on asylum issue
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Immigration critics urge Liberals to come up with answers on asylum issue

    With tensions over asylum seekers mounting between Ottawa and Ontario Premier Doug Ford's new PC government, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel wants to give provincial immigration ministers another chance to air their grievances — and Lisa MacLeod says she'd happily do so. As Ford's community and social services minister, MacLeod is butting heads with the Liberal government over its handling of the asylum-seeker issue, and she was at it again Friday after the main federal, provincial and territorial players gathered for a meeting on the matter in Winnipeg.  She walked out of the meeting after a testy exchange with federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, who later publicly accused Ontario of fear-mongering on asylum seekers. She called his comments "mean-spirited" and demanded an apology.

  • Premiers' much-hyped internal trade deal hasn't amounted to much
    News
    CBC

    Premiers' much-hyped internal trade deal hasn't amounted to much

    On the day they released the Canadian Free Trade Agreement in 2017, all the provincial and territorial trade ministers were given a symbolic pair of golden scissors to remind them to start cutting interprovincial trade barriers. The scissors were gifts from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, a relentless advocacy group for whom harmonizing — and ideally, cutting — government regulations is a mantra. Its president and CEO, Dan Kelly, said he's seen his snippy trophies proudly displayed in ministers' offices across Canada.

  • Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit

    President Donald Trump named the European Union as a top adversary of the United States and denounced the news media as the "enemy of the people" before arriving in Helsinki on Sunday on the eve of his high-stakes summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin. Trump and his top aides were downplaying expectations for Monday's summit as Trump continued to rattle allies by lumping in the EU with Russia and China after barnstorming across Europe, causing chaos at the recent NATO summit and in a trip to the United Kingdom.

  • Future of Edmonton street performers festival site up in the air
    News
    CBC

    Future of Edmonton street performers festival site up in the air

    The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival concluded a sometimes-stormy, sometimes-scorching week in Old Strathcona Sunday. With the one-year countdown now ticking toward next summer's festival, organizers are waiting for the city to confirm whether the event can return to its usual location in Churchill Square. Downtown LRT construction pushed the 2018 festival into Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Park, near the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market.

  • All-women crew returns from North Pacific's plastic zone with seawater samples
    News
    CBC

    All-women crew returns from North Pacific's plastic zone with seawater samples

    An all-female crew of sailors that spent three weeks at sea handed over water samples to researchers with the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program on Saturday. 

  • Protesters In Ottawa Rally To Save Sex Ed Curriculum From Doug Ford's Changes
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    Protesters In Ottawa Rally To Save Sex Ed Curriculum From Doug Ford's Changes

    The new Ontario government's decision to roll back the province's sex education curriculum from the version updated in 2015 to the 1998 curriculum has been inspiring a lot of push back. Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives say the old curriculum will be in place until they can draft a revamped version after consultations with parents. The 2015 sex-ed curriculum sparked controversy, particularly among social conservatives, when Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government first introduced it.

  • Croatian, French fans celebrate World Cup final in Vancouver
    News
    CBC

    Croatian, French fans celebrate World Cup final in Vancouver

    France may have won the World Cup, but Croatian fans in Vancouver still found reason to celebrate. Croatia managed to put two goals between the posts, but France took home the title with a 4-2 win Sunday. "I left Croatia when I was five.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Surrey woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

    A Surrey woman says she wants to help educate the public about racism after a member of her townhouse complex's staff requested her family show ID when they were using the pool. Guerda Henry, who is black, said she believes the incident was an episode of racial profiling, adding it was not the first time she had experienced it at the complex. Henry said she was devastated when the resident who had asked staff to check her ID returned and questioned a 12-year-old family friend — after the staff member had already confirmed their residency.

  • Indian Village at Calgary Stampede will change name to Elbow River Camp
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Indian Village at Calgary Stampede will change name to Elbow River Camp

    On Sunday, the final day of this year's Stampede, officials announced the village of more than two dozen teepees will be renamed Elbow River Camp. Stampede CEO Warren Connell said in a news release that the change was led by the teepee owners with support from the Stampede, noting the owners made the final decision. Michael Meguinis, a spokesman for the owners, said the name "Indian Village" never bothered him.

  • News
    CBC

    Heat warnings issued for most of central and southeast Alberta

    Prepare to have the AC on blast on Monday and Tuesday, as heat warnings are in place for a significant portion of central and southeast Alberta. Major cities like Edmonton and Calgary are under warnings, according to Environment Canada. On Monday and Tuesday, residents can expect maximum daily temperatures of about 29 C and minimum overnight temperatures of about 14 C.

  • Landlords wanted: Victoria charity seeks rental spaces for homeless
    News
    CBC

    Landlords wanted: Victoria charity seeks rental spaces for homeless

    With nearly 1,400 homeless in Greater Victoria and rental vacancy numbers sitting below one per cent, the staff at Pacifica Housing, a charity that connects the homeless with a place to live, are asking for help. "We just need more landlords," said outreach services manager Chris Forrester to All Points West host Jason D'Souza. Forrester says that before the housing market spike, his charity would receive calls from landlords with available vacancies, looking to fill them with Pacifica's clients.

  • Driver tries to elude police by going the wrong way on Highway 102
    News
    CBC

    Driver tries to elude police by going the wrong way on Highway 102

    A New Brunswick man is in custody after he repeatedly tried to elude police in Nova Scotia by speeding down Highway 102 in the wrong direction with his lights off early Sunday morning. It all started just before 1 a.m. when Colchester District RCMP caught a Honda Civic driving dangerously in Millbrook, near Truro. When police tried to pull the driver over, he sped off toward the highway.

  • B.C. economy would take hit if province lost international students, report says
    News
    CBC

    B.C. economy would take hit if province lost international students, report says

    International post-secondary students contribute big bucks to B.C.'s economy, a new report says, but that cash could be at risk due to rising tuition fees. The B.C. Federation of Students released a report this week that found international students spend over $3.1 billion in B.C. each year, creating more than 26,000 jobs and contributing more than $1.7 billion to the provincial GDP. Under provincial policy, tuition rates for domestic students can't be increased by more than two per cent each year, but there are no controls dictating tuition increases for international students.

  • Yellowknife's Sushi Café closes temporarily, after truck crashes into restaurant
    News
    CBC

    Yellowknife's Sushi Café closes temporarily, after truck crashes into restaurant

    The windows and exterior walls of Yellowknife's Sushi Café have been shattered, and its owner left shocked, after a truck apparently smashed into the business early Sunday morning, forcing it to close for the time being. Anita Wai, who owns the restaurant on the corner of Franklin Avenue and 54 Street, said she noticed she had a missed call from the RCMP around 5 a.m. Sunday.

  • Escuminac Disaster survivors among 5 honoured with Senate medals
    News
    CBC

    Escuminac Disaster survivors among 5 honoured with Senate medals

    "They deserve all the recognition they get for a lifetime of service, to not only the Miramichi, but to the province," Richards said. While both men say they were honoured to receive the medals, they argue they aren't heroes for what they did during the fierce hurricane that devastated the small port of Escuminac on June 19, 1959, sinking 22 fishing boats and drowning 35 men.

  • World Cup 2018: Triumph and tears
    BBC News

    World Cup 2018: Triumph and tears

    Paris erupts into celebration while Zagreb weeps, after France beats Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final.

  • Box Office: 'Skyscraper' Gets Rocky Start as 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Checks In at No. 1
    News
    Reuters

    Box Office: 'Skyscraper' Gets Rocky Start as 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Checks In at No. 1

    By Rebecca Rubin LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - It turns out Dwayne Johnson was no match for Dracula and company. "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" topped the domestic box office charts with $44 million from 4,267 locations, while Dwayne Johnson's "Skyscraper" washed up with a paltry $25.5 from 3,782 theaters. Sony's animated family feature picked up $46.4 million overseas this weekend for a global start of $100 million, including Amazon Prime showings.

  • News
    CBC

    Unwanted tenants: Elm seed bugs have made the Okanagan their new home

    "It can be horrific at times," Hamilton told Daybreak South host Chris Walker. Hamilton, who moved to Kamloops almost five years ago, says they're everywhere; in his shed, under the deck, on the bathrooms fans, and in the kitchen. "If you think you've got it covered, you better look somewhere else because they'll find another way [into your house]," said Hamilton.

  • Man cycling across Canada for Alzheimer's research in grandfather's memory
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Man cycling across Canada for Alzheimer's research in grandfather's memory

    A young man is nearing the end of his 8,000-kilometre bike ride across Canada, an endeavour he began to honour his grandfather and raise money for Alzheimer's research. Skyler Roberts, who has raised nearly $2,000 for the Alzheimer Society of Canada so far, said his grandfather was diagnosed with the disease several years ago and died in January.

  • Infant, toddler among 10 pulled from Ghost Lake Reservoir after boat capsizes
    News
    CBC

    Infant, toddler among 10 pulled from Ghost Lake Reservoir after boat capsizes

    Ten people were rescued from Ghost Lake west of Calgary Saturday night after spending more than an hour in the cold water when their boat capsized. RCMP were called at about 9:45 p.m. for a boat that was sinking in the lake. When police arrived to the boat launch, Keith Crone happened to be there with some friends from work.

  • News
    CBC

    Service dog who fell ill during stay at PetSmart has died, owner says

    Dixon and PetSmart have offered differing accounts of what ultimately killed Aspen. According to Dixon, the black Labrador Retriever was suffering from severe pneumonia that was making it nearly impossible for her to breathe. The call was preceded by an episode during which Aspen nearly stopped breathing altogether. Dixon became Aspen's caretaker in January.

  • News
    CBC

    Labrador man who died after boat capsized remembered as avid outdoorsman

    Raymond Green, 67, is being remembered as a family man, who was most at ease when he was outdoors on the land or at sea. "He was a quiet man and he didn't speak very often but when he did speak it meant something to someone," his wife Phoebe Davis said Sunday.

  • Central Alberta seniors facility using art to create safer environment
    News
    CBC

    Central Alberta seniors facility using art to create safer environment

    The artistic innovation is meant to ensure the safety of residents who have dementia at seniors home in Sundre, Alta. The painting of some exit doors at Sundre Seniors Supportive Living adds a layer of security along with a warmer feel, said resident care manager Tim Sawyer. "We wanted to create a homier environment for them because the transition to facility living can be challenging for some," Sawyer said.

  • Cape Breton pilot recognized as a 'pioneer' for women in aviation
    News
    CBC

    Cape Breton pilot recognized as a 'pioneer' for women in aviation

    Colleagues of Capt. Mary Cameron-Kelly say she's genuine, humble and a pioneer for other women pilots in Canada. The North Sydney, N.S., woman was recognized on Sunday by a group that shines a light on the work of women pilots. Today, the Canadian Ninety-Nines are on the 11th year of their program to put women pilots on postage stamps.

  • Springdale students lead the way at annual St. John's Pride Parade
    News
    CBC

    Springdale students lead the way at annual St. John's Pride Parade

    It's been a wild year for the Springdale students who battled controversy and pushed their town to host its first Pride Week, and this weekend they celebrated their accomplishments at the annual St. John's Pride Parade.