Scientists with the World Meteorological Organization say there is a 90 percent chance that 2016 will be the warmest year on record for Earth. According to the BBC, meteorological data from January through September of 2016 is enough to lead scientists to believe that the remaining months will be warm enough to break previous records, more evidence of the imminent dangers of climate change.
The BBC reports that while El Niño has been a factor in the higher than average temperatures (1.2 degrees Celsius or 34.6 degrees Fahrenheit compared to pre-industrial temperatures), CO2 emissions are having the greatest impact in the steady rise in earth's temperature.
The previous record belongs to 2015, which saw temperatures dramatically higher than the averages between 1961 and 1990, according to the BBC. 2015 saw temperatures an average of 33.38 degrees Fahrenheit compared to 1961 through 1990. The record before that was in 2014, showing a troubling trend towards ever-warmer temperatures.
The BBC also reports that products of climate change are up in record numbers. The amount of greenhouse gases in earth's atmosphere have continued to increase in 2016, Arctic sea ice has continued to melt, and the Greenland ice sheet started melting early this year.
Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization told the BBC that, of course, these impacts are resulting in catastrophes. "Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen," Taalas says. "'Once in a generation' heatwaves and flooding are becoming more regular. Sea level rise has increased exposure to storm surges associated with tropical cyclones."