2016 is set to be the hottest year on record

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This year is set to be the hottest year ever recorded globally, beating records set just last year, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has said.

Global temperatures this year are approximately 1.2C (2.16F) above pre-industrial levels and 0.88C (1.58F) above the average for 1961-1990 (which the WMO uses as a reference period), provisional figures show.

As a result, 2016 is on track to be the hottest year in records dating back to the 19th century - and 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have occurred in the 21st century.

People enjoy the weather on the South Bank (Philip Toscano/PA)
2016 is set to be even hotter than the record-breaking 2015 (Philip Toscano/PA)

And while that's been great news for us and our lovely warm days, it's been bad news for the planet as a whole.

This year has also seen record-breaking concentrations of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as well as melting ice, coral reefs bleaching in the face of hot oceans, above-average sea level rise and extreme weather.

The whole thing is, perhaps, made even more worrying by the fact that President-elect Donald Trump has previously described climate change as a hoax created by the Chinese to make American manufacturing uncompetitive.

President-elect Donald Trump (Andrew Milligan/PA)
The next US president, Donald Trump, has previously dismissed climate change fears (Andrew Milligan/PA)

But professor Peter Stott, of the Met Office, doesn't anticipate that 2017 will be yet another record-breaking year like the previous two because El Nino - a powerful climate phenomenon in the Pacific that pushed up global temperatures in the early months of the year - is waning.

That being said, it's still likely to be warmer to any year prior to the last two decades because of the underlying extent of man-made global warming due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, he said.