A recent study has concluded that the human factor to the fact that 2014, 2015 and 2016 being the warmest consecutive years on record, cannot be overlooked. The temperature records were broken in 2014, which was said to be the hottest year since global temperature records began in 1880. This record was later broken by 2015 and 2016, making each year to be the hottest year ever recorded.
"With climate change, this is the kind of thing we would expect to see. And without climate change, we really would not expect to see it," said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the new study.
The average global temperature in 2016 across land and ocean surface areas was 0.94 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 13.9 degrees Celsius, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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Combining historical temperature data and state-of-the-art climate model simulations, the the researchers found the likelihood of experiencing consecutive record-breaking global temperatures from 2014 to 2016 without the effects of human-caused climate change is no greater than 0.03 percent.
But when human-caused warming is considered, the likelihood of three consecutive record-breaking years happening any time since 2000 rises to as high as 50 percent, according to the study.
That means human-caused climate change is very likely to blame for the three consecutive record-hot years, according to the study to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, accumulate in the atmosphere and trap heat that would otherwise escape into space.
Excess greenhouse gases from industrial activities, like burning fossil fuels, are trapping additional heat in the atmosphere, causing the Earth's temperatures to rise.
The average surface temperature of Earth has gone up about 1.1 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century. The past 35 years have seen a majority of the global warming, with 2016 and 2016 the warmest years on record occurring since 2001, as per NASA reports.
(With IANS Inputs)