The World Meteorological Organization said Monday that preliminary data shows that 2016 is on track to become the hottest year ever recorded -- surpassing the previous high, set just last year. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Temperatures in 2016 are on track to make this year the hottest on record, a global collection of meteorologists said Monday.
The World Meteorological Organization released an evaluation report that said average temperatures this year are expected to top those recorded last year, when 2015 was listed as the hottest year ever seen.
"Another year. Another record," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. "The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016.
"The extra heat from the powerful El Niño event has disappeared. The heat from global warming will continue."
According to the WMO, preliminary information indicates that global temperatures were 1.2-degrees Celsius higher in 2016 than in pre-industrial levels. World temperatures between January and September have been about 0.88-degrees (C) above the average (14-degrees Celsius) from the 1961-1990 baseline reference period.
"This would mean that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century," the WMO's statement said.
Meteorologists said El Nino weather patterns were responsible for some of the temperature spikes early this year, but noted that climate change indicators are also alarming.
"Concentrations of major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase to new records. Arctic sea ice remained at very low levels, especially during early 2016 and the October re-freezing period, and there was significant and very early melting of the Greenland ice sheet," the organization said.
The WMO said the deadliest weather-related event so far in 2016 was Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm that pounded Haiti last month.
"Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen," Taalas said. "'Once in a generation' heatwaves and flooding are becoming more regular."
Taalas added that the WMO supports the Paris Agreement, reached this year to fight climate change, and said the pact "came into force in record time and with record global commitment."
President Barack Obama ratified the agreement in September and it took effect for the United States earlier this month.