How climate change transformed the world in 2016

Meanwhile, some people continue to remain in denial

Niha Dagia January 02, 2017
There is a 70% chance that the global polar bear population, estimated at 26,000, will decline by more than 30% over the next 35 years, according to the latest assessment. PHOTO: AFP

2016 will forever be remembered as a difficult year.

While people mourned the loss of iconic figures and natural disasters wreaked havoc, the planet itself underwent profound changes.

Here are some distressing developments the earth's climate experienced over 2016.

Hottest year in history

In July 2016, NASA revealed that global surface temperatures had peaked over the first half of the year, shattering contemporary records. The warmest half year on record experienced an average rise of 1.3 degrees Celsius since the latter part of the 19th Century.



Profound Arctic changes 

Average surface air temperature peaked since the 1900s, according to the Arctic Report Card.  It also found that the Arctic had been warming at a rate twice faster than that of the planet. Temperatures across parts of the Arctic were 36 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

The Greenland Ice Sheets experienced their second-earliest spring meltdown. As the ocean continues to warm, ice in the Arctic and Antarctic melts away. The resulting higher sea levels pose a threat to low-lying islands.

The most 'googled' people in Pakistan in 2016

Carbon Dioxide passes the 400 PPM threshold

In September, a month when carbon dioxide levels tend to be at their lowest due to seasonal changes, carbon dioxide levels peaked the world over. As carbon pollution looks unlikely to decrease, crossing the symbolic 400 PPM mark means a reduction in PPM levels will remain a chimera.


Deforestation is a major contributor to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, deforestation in the Amazon increased by 29% between 2015 and 2016.

An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil. PHOTO: REUTERS An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil. PHOTO: REUTERS

GCF approves Paskistan's $36 million Climate Change Adaptation project

Coral Reef bleaching

High carbon dioxide levels and warmer waters compromise corals. 2016 saw about 93% of the Great Barrier Reef bleaching. One third of the reef is now dead.

the Great Barrier Reef in this. PHOTO:REUTERS the Great Barrier Reef in this. PHOTO:REUTERS

Meanwhile in a parallel universe:



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