2016 is forecast to break the record for the hottest year since records began in the 19th century, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Monday.
Through October, global average temperatures are 2.2 degrees F above pre-industrial levels.
That’s getting close to the limit set by the global climate agreement adopted in Paris last year, said the WMO, which is the United Nations' weather agency. The agreement calls for limiting the temperature rise since the Industrial Revolution to 3.6 degrees.
“Another year, another record," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a statement. "The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016,” he said.
The warming affects of the natural El Niño climate pattern boosted this year’s temperatures. El Niño occurs when ocean temperatures in the central Pacific are warmer than average.
El Niño has now been replaced by its cooler counterpart, La Niña, the Climate Prediction Center said last week.
The previous hottest year was 2015. WMO said 16 of the 17 hottest years have occurred this century, with the only exception being 1998, which was also an El Niño year.
ASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt last month said there was a 99% chance that 2016 would end up as the warmest year on record.
The U.S. is seeing its second-warmest year on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said last week, with a national temperature almost 3 degrees above average. Only 2012 was warmer.
The WMO's sources are the world's top three climate data sets, which are from NASA, NOAA and the United Kingdom's Hadley Centre.