2016 officially hottest year on record

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It's no surprise, but now it's official - 2016 was the hottest year on record.

The announcement was made by NASA and NOAA Wednesday morning, verified by meteorological agencies in Britain and Japan, and also confirmed by an independent non-profit. The analysis is based on thousands of weather stations, ocean buoys, and data from satellites.

The global land and ocean surface temperature was 58.69 degrees, which was 1.69 degrees above the 20th century average, and beats the previous record by .07 degrees. It’s actually the third year in a row for global temperature records.

The last record was set just the previous year, in 2015, and the record before that was set back in 2014. In fact, there were 16 consecutive months from May 2015 to August 2016 of global heat records.

And 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have all now taken place since 2000.

The findings also indicated that the Arctic sea ice extent was at its smallest annual average square mileage since record-keeping began in 1979, and Antarctic sea ice was at the second smallest.

While 2016 certainly had a boost in temperatures from a record El Nino event, it’s worth noting that scientists say, even without it, 2016 still would have likely been a record warm year.