Marrakech: Phalodi in Rajasthan saw temperatures touching a national record of 51 degrees Celsius in May this year, the world meteorological body on Monday said and asserted that it is “very likely” that 2016 will be the hottest year on record.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) assessment which was released here on Monday in this Moroccan city said that 2016’s global temperatures are approximately 1.2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
WMO said that there is a “great need” to strengthen the disaster early warning and climate service capabilities of “especially developing countries”.
The report assumes significance as more than 100 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement reached last year which aims at limiting the global temperature increase to well below two degree Celsius and pursuing efforts towards 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“There were a number of major heatwaves during 2016. The year started with an extreme heatwave in southern Africa, exacerbated by the ongoing drought. Many stations set all-time records, including 42.7°C at Pretoria and 38.9°C at Johannesburg on 7 January.
“Thailand saw a national record of 44.6°C on April 28. Phalodi saw a new record for India of 51.0°C on May 19,” WMO said.
The report was released at the Conference of Parties (CoP22) which is taking place here from November 7-18 where nations will continue their work on strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change.
The report said that record or near-record temperatures occurred in parts of the Middle East and north Africa on a number of occasions in summer with Mitribah (Kuwait) recorded 54.0°C on July 21 which, subject to ratification through standard WMO procedures, will be the highest temperature on record for Asia.
“It is very likely that 2016 will be the hottest year on record, with global temperatures even higher than the record-breaking temperatures in 2015. Preliminary data shows that 2016’s global temperatures are approximately 1.2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” WMO said.
While referring to UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2015 there were 19.2 million new displacements associated with weather, water, climate and geophysical hazards in 113 countries, more than twice as many as for conflict and violence.
“Of these, weather-related hazards triggered 14.7 million displacements and South and East Asia dominated in terms of the highest absolute figures, but no region of the world was unaffected. Equivalent data for 2016 are not yet available,” it said