Arctic to mark 2017 with extreme climate and heatwave, says UN

"Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system", World Climate Research Program Director David Carlson said in a statement.

The impacts of global climate change made 2016 the warmest year on record, and signs point to a continuation of trends and further climate anomalies to come in 2017, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says.

The report says that temperatures in 2016 were "substantially influenced" by the El Niño weather phenomenon, contributing 0.1 to 0.2 degrees on top of the longer-term warming driven by emissions of CO2.

In the face of all this information, climate researchers around the world are irked by the attitude of the Trump government in Washington.

It confirmed previous reports that 2016 is the warmest year on record, which topped the previous record set in 2015.

Noteworthy events of extreme weather in 2016 included severe droughts that devastated southern and eastern Africa; abnormally heavy rains and floods that hit eastern and southern Asia; and Hurricane Matthew, which caused "significant damage" to Haiti and the United States.

The WMO also reported record low ice levels in the Antarctic this year.

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Earlier, scientists have revealed that 2016 was the hottest year on record, setting a new high for the third year in a row, but looks like this year could be hotter - thanks to global warming. Provisional data indicates that the rising rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has not eased, the WMO said.

"This increase in global temperature is consistent with other changes occurring in the climate system", Taalas added.

In a news release, WMO secretary-General Petteri Taalas said "With levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere consistently breaking new records, the influence of human activities on the climate system has become more and more evident".

"The WMO's statement on the 2016 climate leaves no room for doubt", said Phil Williamson, associate fellow at the University of East Anglia School of Environmental Sciences.

The Arctic has experienced the "Polar equivalent of a heatwave" at least three times this winter. This is affecting weather in other parts of the world because of waves in the jet stream the fast moving band of air which helps regulate temperatures.

This year already saw temperature records continue to tumble, in the U.S. where February was exceptionally warm, and in Australia, where prolonged and extreme heat struck many states.

Due to the effect of global warming, balmy weather conditions also prevailed over the regions of Canada and most parts of the US. Prolonged and extreme heat in January and February affected New South Wales, southern Queensland, South Australia and northern Victoria, and saw many new temperature records.

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