(Bloomberg) -- Unusually warm weather in the Arctic ishelping shift weather patterns this year from North America to theMiddle East, after global warming shattered records in 2016,according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Rising ocean temps

Rising ocean temperatures that are melting polar ice sheets,killing marine life and flooding coastal communities may have increasedmore than previously reported last year, the WMO said in a reportTuesday.

Average sea-surface temperatures hit their highest levels everlast year, and overall temperatures over sea and land were 1.1degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period. At least threetimes this winter, the Arctic has experienced the polar equivalentof a heat wave with Atlantic storms driving warm, moist air.

“We are now in truly uncharted territory,” World ClimateResearch Program Director David Carlson said in astatement.

Cuts to climate change research, grants

The confirmation that 2016 was the warmest year on record comes asU.S. President Donald Trump pushes to dismantle programs to combatclimate change. Last week, the Republican called for relaxingfuel-economy standards for cars and trucks, which along with othervehicles are the U.S.’s largest source of greenhouse gases. Trumpalso released a budget with sweeping cuts to climate changeresearch and grants for clean energy development.

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