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Report: 2016 likely to be warmest year ever

Posted at 11:45 AM, Dec 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-19 11:50:55-05

2016 is on track to be the warmest year on record, according to a global temperature forecast released Thursday.

The U.K.'s weather service, the British Met Office, says the global mean temperature is expected to rise between 0.72 degrees Celsius and 0.96 degrees Celsius above temperatures from the latter half of the 20th century.

A researcher said: "2015 is on track to be the warmest year on record, and this forecast suggests 2016 is likely to be at least as warm, if not warmer."

The report says "man-made global warming" was, unsurprisingly, a factor in their forecast.

El Nino was also a consideration, but played a smaller role.

El Niño temporarily warms waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and impacts weather in a variety of ways, depending on where you are in the world. Beyond just temperature, El Niño can contribute to intense wind, rainfall and drought.

The British Met Office doesn't expect constant, consecutive record-breaking temperatures. But notable 2015 and 2016 temperatures show how impactful natural weather fluctuation in combination with man-made factors can be.