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Global warming is real!

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2015 was the warmest year on record in Hong Kong with an annual mean temperature of 24.2 degrees Celsius, 0.9 degrees above the normal figure for 1981-2010, and 1.2 degrees above the normal figure for 1961-1990.

The Hong Kong Observatory said the mean temperatures for June, November, the summer months and the autumn months in 2015 all saw new highs since records began in 1884.

There were 28 Very Hot Days with daily maximum temperatures of 33 degrees or higher. The maximum temperature was a record high of 36.3 degrees on August 8.

The number of Cold Days with daily minimum temperatures of 12 degrees or lower in 2015 was only seven!

According to the World Meteorological Organization’s preliminary assessment, 2015 is likely to be the warmest year globally since records began in 1850. Over the Arctic, the minimum sea ice extent in September 2015 was the fourth lowest on record. Moreover, notable extreme weather events wreaked havoc in many parts of the world in 2015, including heatwaves in India, southern Pakistan, northern Africa, South Africa, the Middle East, southern Australia and many parts of Europe, snow storms in Boston and Worcester of the United States, drought in western North America, South Africa, Russia, southern Chile, Brazil and Indonesia, extreme rainfall and flooding in southern United States, Mexico, southeastern Europe, United Kingdom, Pakistan, China and Argentina, and torrential rain induced by tropical cyclones in southern United States, Myanmar, Japan and Yemen.

Over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, the El Niño episode started in May 2014 and continued into 2015. The sea surface temperature warmed progressively and significantly during the course of the year, developing into a strong event by late summer and setting a record for the longest episode since 1950.

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Recorded temperatures in Hong Kong (Source: HK Observatory)

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