Last year was the hottest ever recorded on Earth in 137 years, an worldwide report released Thursday from the American Meteorological Society shows.
That's the diagnosis of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society, which released their annual State of the Climate report Thursday.
Temperature records were first broken in 2014, when that year became the hottest year since global temperature records began in 1880.
It says that 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of recordkeeping.
2016 set new records for global surface temperature, sea surface temperature and greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. In 2016, the average global temperature across land and ocean surface areas was 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average of 13.9 degrees Celsius (57.0 degrees Fahrenheit), according to NOAA.
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The global average sea level was also the highest on record, 3.25 inches above 1993, when satellite records began, the report found.
Meanwhile global sea level reached new highs past year and was on average about 82 mm (3.25 inches) higher than the 1993 level.
But as humanity continues to rely on fossil fuels for energy, unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases are polluting the atmosphere, acting like a blanket to capture heat around the Earth, the report emphasised.
Scientists who collected data for the report attribute the record heat to long-term global warming and El Niño. Global warmth records have been kept for the past 136 years. The report is congressionally mandated every four years. There are both natural and human events that make temperature changes cluster together, such as climate patterns like El Niño, the solar cycle and volcanic eruptions, according to Mann.
The report also said a warming trend was continuing in the Arctic, and the Antarctic saw a new record low in the extent of sea ice coverage.
The probability that this series of record-breaking years would be observed at some point since 2000 is less than 0.7 percent without the influence of human-caused climate change, but between 30 and 50 percent when the influence of human-caused climate change is considered, the new study finds.