Hot weather
People are seen in silhouette as they cool off in water fountains in a park as hot summer temperatures hit Paris, France, August 24, 2016. Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

International agencies have confirmed that 2016 was the hottest year on record. The growing concern comes as a reminder to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to reduce global warming.

Last year was described by the Bureau of Meteorology as a "year of extreme events." It was also the fourth hottest year for Australia – with a margin of 0.87 degrees Celsius over the average gathered from the years of 1961 through 1990. The country has recorded an average temperature of 8 degrees Celsius more than the average global land temperature.

As a result, Australia’s heat risk becomes much more than other nations. The Conversation reports that there were more number of days per year recording over 35 degrees Celsius. Additionally, there has been an escalation in the average extreme temperatures. In the period from 1951 to 1980, very warm monthly maximum temperatures occurred only 2 percent of the time. The same number climbed to an astounding 11 percent during 2001 to 2015.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, global average temperatures had witnessed an increase by 0.07 degrees Celsius than in 2015 – and 1.1 degrees Celsius more than during the pre-industrial period. In light of this growing concern, experts have called for nations to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to curb global warming.

"Month after month, year after year, we are seeing records fall and every year without effective action makes the task of applying the brakes on the long-term trend more difficult," Will Steffen, professor at the Climate Council, said. "We aren't moving nearly fast enough on emission reductions."

According to AAP (via SBS), research fellow at the University of Melbourne Andrew King noted that the mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, among other indications, comes as a reminder that worse things are in store if steps are not taken to stop global warming. "We have to make rapid and drastic cuts to our greenhouse gas emissions," King said. "If we don't do this we'll see more damaging extreme events in Australia and across the world."

Last year was hotter than 2015, which was further hotter than 2014. Three consecutive years of progressively increasing temperatures is another record in the history of modern accurate and standardised meteorological observation spanning more than 130 years.

According to WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas, the escalating mercury levels did not paint a comprehensive picture. "Long-term indicators of human-caused climate change reached new heights in 2016," he said. "Carbon dioxide and methane concentrations surged to new records. Both contribute to climate change."