In Brief
A major report led by NOAA says that 2015 broke a lot of records in rise in temperature, sea levels and carbon dioxide levels. All these are brought by climate change, and the year 2016 should not be discounted.

Breaking Records

A group of scientists led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a report that demonstrates the current state of the world’s climate. The report is based on the data provided by scientists from 62 countries, and confirms that the changes in the climate in the year 2015 have overthrown previous records in heat, seal level, and extreme weather.

The year 2015 broke the previous record of highest annual surface temperature by 0.1°C (0.18°F), set in 2014 due to the escalated amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But 2016 is still in the race, aided by El Niño which typically raises the world’s temperature.

2015 also shattered the record for ocean temperature. The ocean temperature in the eastern Pacific is 2°C (3.6°F) warmer than the long-term average whereas in the Arctic, the temperature is a staggering 8°C (14.4°F) warmer than the average.

Climate Change

Due to thermal expansion and melting of glaciers, the year 2015 also set the record for highest global sea level. The oceans are now 70 mm (2.76 inches) higher than the average in 1993, when broader range satellite measurements began. The average rise in sea level is 3.3 mm (0.13 inches) per year, with the fastest increases occurring in the eastern Pacific ocean and Indian oceans.

Other noteworthy changes in 2015 include lowest maximum sea ice extent in the Arctic region, a severe heat wave with a thousand casualties in Pakistan, and a severe drought which resulted to a food shortage in Ethiopia.

The state of the climate report is published annually by the American Meteorological Society.