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The past 5-year period is the hottest ever recorded, U.N. says

Because of human-caused global warming and a strong El Niño, Earth’s wild weather this year is bursting the annual heat record, according to a report released by the World Meteorological Organization, a United Nations weather agency, on Wednesday. The period of time from 2011 to 2015 is also the hottest five-year period ever recorded, the agency added. The bird report on 2015 says it is the hottest year on record, surpassing last year’s record heat. It made the proclamation without waiting for the end of the year because it has been so extraordinarily hot, and it’s forecast to stay that way and unlikely cool down enough to not set a record.

The report comes the week before world leaders assemble in Paris to try to negotiate an agreement to fight climate change. Â “This is all bad news for the planet,” the agency’s secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, said in a statement. The report is not surprising: Scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and elsewhere already were saying that 2015 likely would be the hottest. The U.N. agency, NOAA, NASA and Japan’s weather agency all say 2014 is the current record hot year with a global temperature of 14.57 degrees Celsius, 58.23 degrees Fahrenheit.

“I would call it certain,” NOAA’s chief climate monitor, Deke Arndt, said on Tuesday. “Something game-changing massive would have to happen for it not to be a record.” Records go back to 1880. According to the new report, the period of time from 2011 to 2015 is now the warmest five-year period on record, and marks the warmest years for every continent but Africa. The data also suggest that greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by human activity are likely the “dominant cause” of these long-term warming trends, the World Meteorological Organization said in a statement. Another (non peer reviewed) report released earlier this year and conducted by Climate Central suggests that “a large majority” of 2015’s heat record is due to greenhouse gas emissions.

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