The world is warming at an alarming rate. The year 2014 was the warmest since records began in 1880. Then 2015 was the warmest; and now it looks highly likely that 2016 will again break records.
Of the 15 warmest years on record, only 1998, a strong El Nino year, breaks the monopoly of the 2000s and 2010s.
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The current warming stretches from Antarctica through equatorial areas towards the North Pole.
At a regional level, the rapid acceleration in temperatures is even more marked.
In the US state of Alaska, part of which lies within the Arctic Circle, 2016 has seen temperatures well above average.
In the past week weather conditions along the northern Arctic shoreline have been more appropriate to Southern California or the Mediterranean.