In many places across the globe, water access depends partly upon atmospheric “rivers,” bands of water vapor propelled along jets of air that trace swirling routes above the Earth.
According to independent analyses by NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880. This makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures. Heat records for the Arctic were also broken, and to a stunning degree. According to satellite data, the 2016 Arctic sea ice minimum extent, is effectively tied with 2007, for the second-lowest yearly minimum in the satellite records.
It’s increasingly likely that 2015 will be the hottest year on record, possibly by a wide margin.
NASA reported Wednesday that this was the hottest four-month start (January to April) of any year on record. This was also the second-warmest April on record in NASA’s dataset.