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2015 warmest year on record

dpa logodpa 2/08/2016

The average temperature of the world's oceans in 2015 was the highest on record, according to US climate authorities.

Record temperatures recorded in 2015 have had grave consequences for many regions around the globe, according to a report released on Tuesday by US climate authorities.

The annual global surface temperature in 2015 exceeded the previous record in 2014 by more than 0.1C, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

The El Nino phenomenon, which affects worldwide weather conditions via altered jet stream and ocean currents, also played a role in 2015's record temperatures.

"This 'annual physical' of Earth's climate system showed us that 2015's climate was shaped both by long-term change and an El Nino event," NOAA's Thomas Karl said.

The average temperature of the world's oceans was the highest on record, and sea level was 70 millimetres higher than the 1993 average.

Other consequences resulting from the higher temperatures include the highest concentration to date of greenhouse gases recorded atop Mauna Loa on Hawaii, and a damaging algae bloom spreading from the central California coast to British Columbia in Canada. Glaciers have continued to shrink, and 2015's total of 101 tropical cyclones exceeded the 1981-2010 average of 82.

Wildlife in the Arctic has been affected, according to the report.

Walrus herds have returned to the land instead of remaining on ice floes on the ocean. In the Barents Sea north of Norway, rising temperatures have led to warm water fish species displacing native species.

The report, which was released for the 26th time, was the product of 450 scientists and data from 60 countries.

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