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Global temperatures 'highest on record in 2016'

This year is on course to break the all-time record for the highest average annual global temperature, new research has said.

A study of the weather for the first nine months of 2016 has convinced scientists at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that this year's average will be higher than the previous peak, recorded last year.

The average temperature will be 1.2 degrees celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, according to the study. While El Nino has been a factor, the main culprit has been identified as carbon emissions.

While the upward trend may not come as a surprise, governments around the world have been working on finding solutions, with the Paris Agreement to keep the temperature rise below two degrees being ratified recently.

However, it is not just at government level that effective decisions can be taken. Householders can do their bit by fitting more insulation, in order to increase the energy efficiency of their dwellings.

Not only does keeping heat in a building stop it escaping into the atmosphere outside, but it also means less energy is needed to heat the home in the first place, thus reducing the amount of fossil fuels needed to provide the warmth.

Commenting on the situation, WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas said: "WMO is working to improve monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions to help countries reduce them. Better climate predictions over timescales of weeks to decades will help key sectors like agriculture, water management, health and energy plan for and adapt to the future."

He warned that as things stand, so-called once in a lifetime weather events will become increasingly common, such as large storms and major floods.

Countries meeting in Marrakesh last week to discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement expressed a determination to press ahead, despite president-elect Donald Trump declared that the US would scrap its commitments to the agreement.