January 19, 2017

350.org responds to the World Meteorological Organization’s statement which shows that 2016 has been the hottest year on record

350.org’s response to the World Meteorological Organization’s statement that 2016 has been the hottest year on record, with serious humanitarian and environmental consequences

“2016 was the year climate change took hold of the world more clearly than ever. Nowhere can now avoid the fact that climate change is striking harder and faster than many scientists predicted, and that its impacts are taking a higher toll on vulnerable communities and developing countries.

It is the year that the Great Barrier Reef suffered its worst bleaching and die-off on record; a year when the Arctic melted beyond any modelled scenarios; and a year when the Turnbull Government continued to play dangerous and petty politics over climate policy.

Today, yet another distressing record is broken. If we are serious about halting further devastation caused by these records, we must keep all fossil fuels in the ground. That means no new oil, coal or gas projects – starting with the Adani coal mine.

Globally, renewables are now the cheapest and cleanest source of energy creating the technological momentum to match the masses of people clamoring for climate solutions. Our elected representatives must heed this momentum or risk being swept aside by the clean energy tide,” said Charlie Wood 350.org Campaign Director CEO.

Around the world, weather events such as storms, droughts, floods and wildfires are causing the loss of human lives, threatening countless natural systems and the millions of livelihoods that they support.

Global and national climate events in 2016

  • The Great Barrier Reef suffered its worst bleaching event on record with 92% of coral being affected. Six months later scientists discover more than ⅔ of the northern section of the Reef is dead.
  • Ocean temperatures the warmest on record for the Australian region, with an annual mean sea surface temperature 0.73 °C above average
  • The Bureau of Meteorology declared 2016 as Australia’s fourth hottest year on record with the annual national mean temperature 0.87 °C above average.
  • WMO published the provisional statement for 2016 to inform the United Nations Climate Change conference taking place in Marrakech, Morocco (COP22). The final statement will be released in early 2017. For the first time, the assessment includes input from UN partners on the humanitarian impact.
  • The most serious drought affected much of southern Africa.
  • The Yangtze basin in China experienced, overall, its most significant flood season since 1999.
  • Extreme heatwaves hit South Africa, and high temperatures set new national records in Kuwait, Iran, Thailand and India.
  • The most damaging wildfire in Canadian history broke out near Fort McMurray, in Alberta.
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that weather-related hazards triggered 14.7 million displacements in 2015, and no region of the world remained unaffected.
  • 24 million people have been reported as being in a situation of food insecurity as a consequence of the droughts in eastern Africa