Global Warming

2016 as hottest year on record

The federal government confirmed 2016 as the planet’s warmest year on record, according to a report released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The combined influence of long-term global warming and a strong El Niño early in the year led to last year’s all-time record heat, NOAA said.

While El Niño is a natural warming of Pacific Ocean water, man-made global warming is caused by greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.

The amount of carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases, in the atmosphere climbed to its highest level in 800,000 years, the report found.

The report also noted other signs of a warming planet in 2016:

Greenhouse gases were the highest on record. Sea-surface temperatures were the highest on record. Global upper ocean heat content near-record high. Global sea level was the highest on record. Antarctic had a record low sea ice extent.

Global warming makes expedition to ice-locked North Pole possible

Two specially-equipped sailboats are attempting a voyage that’s never been done before – a trip to the North Pole. Led by a British explorer, the international crew has moved the boats from their home in Sitka up to Nome, where they’re hoping to launch for their journey to the Pole this weekend. Melting sea ice in the Arctic could make their voyage possible for the first time in history.

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Drought

2012 Hottest Year on Record for USA

The US sweltered under its hottest year on record in 2012, breaking the previous yearly average by 0.6°C which occurred in 1998. Last year the average US temperature was 13°C amid widespread drought and a mild winter. July broke the record for hottest month. Nineteen states set yearly heat records in 2012. Alaska, however, was cooler than average.

Drought in Thailand

A disaster zone was declared due to drought in the northern province of Phichit, Thailand. A drought disaster zone was issued for the drought hit districts of Muang, Saklek, Dong Charoen and Wangsai Poon.

Drought Relief in US

Some modest relief is expected this week from the worst drought in over 50 years in the U.S. crop belt and volatile weather patterns are shifting attention to potential harm or winterkill in the U.S. Plains hard red winter wheat region.

Heavy rainfall is expected this week in the U.S. Delta extending into central Texas and the showers will move into portions of the southern Midwest.