2016 down as warmest year on record

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Last year's global weather was the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, a USA government report said Thursday.

The report is a peer-reviewed annual series led by NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information and the American Meteorological Society, and is based on contributions from almost 500 scientists from more than 60 countries.

The Earth set a series of dire records in 2016, including hottest year in modern times, highest sea level and most heat-trapping gases ever emitted, a global climate report said on Thursday.

The State of the Climate report said 2016 was the third consecutive year of record global warmth.

Before that, it was 2014.

The report came out just days after The New York Times published a draft USA government report on climate, which said that the average temperature in the United States had risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and that recent decades had been the warmest in the past 1,500 years.

"Drought in 2016 was among the most extensive in the post-1950 record", said the report. Global warmth records have been kept for the past 136 years.

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Melting glaciers and polar ice caps swelled the world's oceans, and global average sea level rose to a record high in 2016 of about 3.25 inches (82 millimetres) higher than the 1993 average.

Sea surface temperatures were also the highest on record and have increased by 1.62 degrees between 2000 and 2016.

The draft report directly contradicted claims by the Trump administration that the contribution of human activity to climate change is uncertain and unpredictable. This was the sixth consecutive year global sea level has increased compared to the previous year. There are both natural and human events that make temperature changes cluster together, such as climate patterns like El Niño, the solar cycle and volcanic eruptions, according to Mann.

The report was leaked online in January but received little notice until the Times published the findings this week. The report comes from scientists representing 13 federal agencies.

The report is a sort of annual checkup on the Earth, compiled by NOAA and the American Meteorological Society out of data from researchers in 60 countries - and it found the fever the planet has been running in recent years hasn't broken yet.

Translation: As Earth's climate changes it directly affects sea level rise, greenhouse gas concentrations and land and ocean temperatures.

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