2016 set to be hottest year on record, UN says

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Charities said figures showed the need for urgent action to comply with Paris agreement. 

14th November 2016 by Gavin Stuart 1 Comment

2016 is set to be the hottest year on record, the United Nations (UN) has said.

Data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has shown global temperatures are approximately 1.2C above pre-industrial levels and 0.88C higher than they were between 1961 and 1990.

Long-term climate change indicators are also spiking, with concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increasing to new record levels.

Extreme weather has led to environmental and humanitarian crises around the world, the deadliest of which was Hurricane Matthew, the WMO said.

Meanwhile, ocean heat was boosted by the El Niño event, contributing to coral reef bleaching and a 15mm sea-level rise since 2014.

The data was presented at the UN global climate summit in Marrakech, where delegates were told 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century.

Millions of Americans voted for a coal-loving climate denier willing to condemn people around the globe to poverty, famine and death from climate change

WMO secretary-General Petteri Taalas said: “Another year. Another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016.

“Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen. Once in a generation heatwaves and flooding are becoming more regular. Sea level rise has increased exposure to storm surges associated with tropical cyclones."

Environmental activists said governments must react to the report by taking urgent action to comply with the Paris agreement on climate change, which commits world leaders to keeping climate change below 2C.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "News that 2016 looks set to be the hottest year ever recorded globally is worrying and should remind our political leaders of the continued need for action both at home and abroad.

"As delegates at the UN climate talks in Marrakech continue to discuss increased international action, it's good to know Scotland's own climate change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham is joining them to share Scotland's success story in cutting emissions and to learn from others. 

“As the cabinet secretary said last week, under the Paris agreement existing global pledges are only enough to limit global temperature rise to around 3°C. It’s therefore clear all countries need to do more.

"As the Scottish Government prepared its new climate action plan, these latest figures show it must go further and have strong and bold new policies in it.”

The news comes as scientists warned Donald Trump’s forthcoming presidency could spell disaster for the fight against global climate change.

Trump, who has claimed global warming is a hoax, is already said to be investigating ways for the US to withdraw from the Paris agreement.

His administration is also likely to back fossil fuel projects and remove billions of dollars of funding from renewable energy initiatives.

Benjamin Schreiber, climate director at Friends of the Earth US, said: “Millions of Americans voted for a coal-loving climate denier willing to condemn people around the globe to poverty, famine and death from climate change.

“It seems undeniable that the United States will become a rogue state on climate change.”

14th November 2016 by Scottish Scientist

Scottish scientists are leading on renewable energy, as can be confirmed by reading my leading science published in my Scottish Scientist blog.Scottish Scientist Independent Scientific Adviser for Scotland scottishscientist.wordpress.com* Off-Shore Electricity from Wind, Solar and Hydrogen Power * World’s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland? * Modelling of wind and pumped-storage power * Scotland Electricity Generation – my plan for 2020Whilst on the one hand the SNP Scottish government has correctly supported planning permission for renewable energy projects on the other hand, the SNP government ministers are severely failing in their responsibilities.1) The SNP government has failed to support academic freedom and civil liberties effectively and instead the government has disgracefully allowed gross mismanagement of Scottish justice by incompetent police, prosecutors and courts. As a consequence, scientists in Scotland are subject to police state persecution and obstruction of our scientific duties.2) The SNP government has failed to press the UK government for borrowing powers with which to invest in renewable energy. Instead a very bad deal Fiscal Framework Agreement was signed in February 2016 restricting Scottish government borrowing to a paltry and demeaning few £100 million a year instead of the £ billions a year that is needed.