Last month marked the hottest March in modern history and the 11th consecutive month in which a monthly global temperature record was broken, according to officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). More bad news comes from leading climate scientists, including at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) who forecast that 2016 will be the hottest year ever. "Climate scientists like Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, predicting that 2016 will set new records," Fortune reported in a recent article.
"Too soon? I estimate a greater than 99 percent chance of an annual record in 2016 in @NASAGISS temperature data, based on Jan-Mar alone," stated Schmidt through his Twitter account. In January, NOAA and NASA announced that 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of record-keeping. For the most part, scientists at the agencies and elsewhere blamed man-induced global warming, with a boost from El Nino. NOAA said that 2015's temperature was 14.79 degrees Celsius, passing 2014 by a record margin of 0.29 degrees. That's 1.62 degrees over the average for the 20th century. Last week NOAA announced that the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for March 2016 "was the highest for the month of March in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880." Planet-wide, the average temperature was 1.22 Celsius above the 20th century average of 12.7 Celsius, according to NOAA's report.
Temperatures were also on the rise in the world's waters, registering the highest global ocean temperature for March since 1880 and beating out the previous record set the year before. The results are a growing cause of concern because the pace of global warming is accelerating rapidly. On Friday, 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change to take speedy and appropriate actions to protect against global warming, rising seas and other impacts of climate change. Under the agreement, countries set their own targets for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The targets are not legally binding, but countries must update them every five years.