Publication Date March 14, 2016

Record surge in 2016 temperatures adds urgency to climate deal, say scientists

People are seen bathing while others cool off from the heat as they are sprayed with water jetting out from a leaking water pipeline in Karachi, Pakistan, June 25, 2015 during a heat wave. Photo: Akhtar Soomros, Reuters

A record surge in temperatures in 2016, linked to global warming and an El Nino weather event in the Pacific, is adding urgency to a deal by 195 governments in December to curb greenhouse gas emissions to slow climate change, scientists said on Monday.

Average global temperatures last month were 1.35 degree Celsius (2.4 Fahrenheit) above normal for February, the biggest temperature excess recorded for any month against a baseline of 1951-80, according to NASA data released at the weekend.

The previous record was set in January, stoked by factors including a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the strong El Nino event, which releases heat from the Pacific.