Last year was the warmest year on record for land and sea, partly because seasonal El Nino climate patterns prevailed year-round, and melting ice pushed sea levels to the highest ever, a study based on the work of more than 450 scientists worldwide confirmed.
The ‘State of the Climate’ report, which was published by the American Meteorological Society, followed on from a report by two US government agencies which found 2015’s global average temperature was the hottest ever by the widest margin on record.
The annual study, led by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), would likely add fuel to the ongoing debate over global warming policies such as the international agreement forged in Paris in December.
The record heat in 2015 was driven by a combination of long-term global warming and one of the strongest El Nino climate patterns experienced in at least half a century, said NOAA.
El Nino brings unusually warm water into the Pacific Ocean after late December and can cause catastrophic weather conditions.
Last year was the first time that Earth was 1ºC warmer than preindustrial times said the report.
The global sea level rose about 70mm above the 1993 average, it added.
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