The state of the climate in 2016

Posted: Updated:
An undated photo of arctic ice. (Source: NASA) An undated photo of arctic ice. (Source: NASA)
The nearly 300 page report by AMS. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The nearly 300 page report by AMS. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
On the Big Island of Hawaii, this is where much of the CO2 measurement is done. (Source: NOAA) On the Big Island of Hawaii, this is where much of the CO2 measurement is done. (Source: NOAA)
The Muir Glacier in Alaska over about 100 years. (Source: USGS) The Muir Glacier in Alaska over about 100 years. (Source: USGS)
The McMurray Fire burned for weeks in Alberta, Canada. (Source: Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre) The McMurray Fire burned for weeks in Alberta, Canada. (Source: Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society has just released its 27th annual “State of the Climate.” This one for the year 2016.

It’s a huge document, nearly 300 pages long, and I haven’t read it entirely. Yet. But I’ve been able to look through for some highlights/lowlights in this latest climate report.

[RELATED: This year has been the 2nd hottest on record]

The report says all of the major greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide continued to increase in the atmosphere and reach record levels. Most interestingly, CO2 had the largest annual increase in 2016 since they started tracking carbon dioxide 58 years ago. The level of CO2 passed 400 parts per million for the first time in modern measurement and in ice core records that go back 800,000 years.

[MORE: Weather blog]

Arctic ice continues to melt at an alarming rate. In 2016, the report says Arctic ice had is lowest winter growth in the 37-year satellite record, tying the previous year, 2015. The sea ice is also relatively younger and thinner than in the past making it more subject to melting.

[RELATED: Is our monsoon changing?]

We’re also losing ice from glaciers. For the 37th consecutive year, glacier ice around the planet was down.

Some good news we’re all aware of was California had a drought-busting winter with its first wetter-than-average year since 2012. But at the same time, there were record droughts in Bolivia and Peru.

[RELATED: Phoenix Rainfall Index looks at the big rain picture]

And finally, while our fire season in 2016 was not one of our worst, in Canada, it was out of control. The Fort McMurray wildfire burned 1.5 million acres and was the costliest disaster in Canadian history with $3 billion in losses.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Arizona's Family Weather BlogMore>>

  • Off the beaten path: Forrest Gump Point

    Off the beaten path: Forrest Gump Point

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:31 PM EDT2018-07-19 17:31:04 GMT
    (Sources: 3TV/CBS 5 and Paramount Pictures)(Sources: 3TV/CBS 5 and Paramount Pictures)
    (Sources: 3TV/CBS 5 and Paramount Pictures)(Sources: 3TV/CBS 5 and Paramount Pictures)

    People come from all over the world to see Arizona's Monument Valley. But there's one view, in particular, that has people parking on the side of the road and then dodging traffic to take a certain picture.

    More >

    People come from all over the world to see Arizona's Monument Valley. But there's one view, in particular, that has people parking on the side of the road and then dodging traffic to take a certain picture.

    More >
  • Earliest mention of monsoon in Arizona

    Earliest mention of monsoon in Arizona

    Wednesday, July 11 2018 9:29 AM EDT2018-07-11 13:29:04 GMT
    The Arizona monsoon probably got its name back in the late 40s. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)The Arizona monsoon probably got its name back in the late 40s. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    The first mention of the monsoon in Arizona occurred in the 1940s.

    More >

    The first mention of the monsoon in Arizona occurred in the 1940s.

    More >
  • Fourth of July ushers in weather pattern change

    Fourth of July ushers in weather pattern change

    Tuesday, July 3 2018 2:55 PM EDT2018-07-03 18:55:53 GMT

    The Fourth of July is typically a hot and dry holiday in Arizona.  And while that will be the case this year, a big weather change is headed our way later this week. 

    More >

    The Fourth of July is typically a hot and dry holiday in Arizona.  And while that will be the case this year, a big weather change is headed our way later this week. 

    More >