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More than 150 years of Swiss weather data illustrates our changing climate. If 2015 was the warmest year on record, 2016 is not far behind. 

The animated graphic below shows how the monthly average temperatures in Switzerland have evolved over the past century and a half.

Since the 1980s, temperatures rose markedly and have since remained at a high level. Switzerland experienced a particularly warm start in 2016, but overall the year ranks as the eighth hottest since 1864. 

Rising average temperature for all of Switzerland is clearly evident when looking at the deviation in yearly temperature against the 1981-2010 average.  

A global situation

Experts have observed the same warming trend on an international level. Even though all of the data for 2016 has not yet been published, it appears that the first half of 2016 was the warmest since 1880, according to US space agency NASAexternal link.

The United Nations' World Meteorological Organizationexternal link (WMO) based in Geneva announced that the global average temperature is expected to reach a record level in 2016 and to exceed the world's agreed upon threshold of keeping to no more than a 1.2°C rise compared to the pre-industrial era.

According to the WMO, extreme temperatures are due to a combination of a particularly strong El Niño along with man-made greenhouse gas emissions. El Niño is a cyclical climate phenomenon resulting in a warming of the waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and it can cause severe droughts or heavy rainfall in different regions.

Further reading:

Evolution in global temperaturesexternal link up until 2014 and model use for the animated graphic.