It’s official, 2016 set another record for being the world’s hottest. Three international agencies have confirmed today that last year was the hottest on record.
NASA reported that 2016 was 0.99℃ hotter than the 20th-century average, while the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) called it at 0.94℃. NOAA also calculated that global land temperatures were 1.43℃ higher. The UK Met Office, using its own data, also reported that 2016 is one of the two hottest years on record.
The figures vary slightly, depending on the baseline reference period used.
Heat records don’t linger for long any more. 2016 surpassed the 2015 record, which surpassed the 2014 record. Three record hot years in a row sets yet another record in the 137-year history of modern accurate and standardised meteorological observation.
Australia is already on average 8℃ hotter than the average global land temperature, so further warming means our heat risk is far greater than for other industrialised countries.
As Australia lurches from heatwave to heatwave, the message is clear: extreme heat is the new norm – so Australia needs to get “heat smart”.