WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2016
This annual statement confirms that 2016 was the warmest year on record, approximately 1.1 °C above the pre-industrial period, and 0.06 °C above the previous highest value set in 2015. Noteworthy extreme events in 2016 included severe droughts that brought food insecurity to millions in southern and eastern Africa and Central America. Hurricane Matthew caused widespread suffering in Haiti as the first category 4 storm to make landfall since 1963, and inflicted significant economic losses in the United States of America, while heavy rains and floods affected eastern and southern Asia. Detection and attribution studies have demonstrated that human influence on the climate has been a main driver behind the unequivocal warming of the global climate system observed since the 1950s. Human influence has also led to significant regional temperature increases at the continental and subcontinental levels. Shifts of the temperature distribution to warmer regimes are expected to bring about increases in the frequency and intensity of extremely warm events. The Statement concludes with a discussion on National Climate Monitoring Products, based on a standard set of climate indices, that allow for a comparison across regions and assist in the development of a truly global understanding of the climate. To develop resilience in the face of a changing climate, it is also vital for countries to monitor and understand the climate system at local and national scales.