2016 Breaks the Record as the Hottest Year

March 21, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. break the record / breɪk ðə ˈrɛk ərd / (idiom) – to perform better than an old record by setting a new one
Example: Yesterday’s temperature will surely break the record for the hottest day.

2. expel / ɪkˈspɛl / (v.) – to remove by force
Example Factories expel pollution-causing substances.

3. recurrent / rɪˈkɜr ənt, -ˈkʌr- / (adj.) – happening repeatedly
Example: The recurrent rainfall is causing heavy floods.

4. drastic / ˈdræs tɪk / (adj.) – having a significant effect on something
Example: We need to take drastic measures to combat the effects of climate change.

5. peril ˈpɛr əl / (n.) – something that leads to danger
Example: Road accidents are among the perils of heavy rainfall.


Read the text below.
2016 is now the Earth's hottest year since the start of record-keeping in 1880.

Based on data collected by National Aeronautics /ˌɛəəˈnɔ tɪks / and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the Earth's average temperature in 2016 was 0.94 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th century’s average temperature. This marks 2016 as the third year in a row to break the record as the warmest year.

Two factors contributed to the record-breaking temperature increase of the planet in 2016. The first is El Niño, a natural weather phenomenon in which the Pacific Ocean is warmed up and excess heat is expelled into the atmosphere. El Niño, however, is not completely accountable for the planet's warming. The second factor is greenhouse gas emissions from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and cutting down of rainforests. Of the two factors, emissions from human activities have the larger influence on the recurrent rise in temperature.

Although the warming affected the entire planet, it had the most drastic impact on the Arctic. The region experienced faster increase in temperature compared to other regions of the Earth. The Arctic experienced severe ice melting, which led to the relocation of an entire Alaskan village. Other parts of the world also suffered extreme weather disturbances such as floods, droughts, superstorms, and wildfires. Apart from said effects, rising sea levels and mass extinctions are other perils that can result from rising temperatures.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Are there places in your country where the effects of climate change are most felt?
·         What are some effects of climate change on human life?

Discussion B
·         Which is better: adjusting to hotter temperature or preventing its effects? Explain.
·         How can we adapt to changing climate? Discuss. 

March 21, 2017