Even Without El Niño, Earth Keeps Warming

Even Without El Niño, Earth Keeps Warming

For now, 2016 still stands as the hottest year of all time, a year when no land area on Earth experienced lower-than-average temperatures.

2017 was among the warmest years on record, according to new data released by NASA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The 21st century has so far been a period of the hottest weather, accounting for 17 of the 18 warmest years on record.

The upward trend in global temperatures marked by record-shattering warmth in 2015 and 2016 kept pace a year ago, with the United Nations weather agency warning Thursday that the continued pressure on the Arctic in 2017 will have "profound and long-lasting repercussions on sea levels, and on weather patterns in other parts of the world".

El Niño was present in both 2015 and 2016, which means that 2017 is the hottest on record without any outside influences inflating the temp.

Even without an El Nino event and with a La Nina starting in the later months of 2017, last year's temperatures ranked between 2015 and 2016 in NASA's records. But if you removed those effects (a La Niña pattern emerged late last year), 2017 would have been the warmest we've ever seen.

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An analysis of five worldwide datasets revealed that the global average surface temperature in 2017 was roughly 1.1C above the pre-industrial era.

In March, WMO will issue its 2017 full Statement on the State of the Climate, which will provide a comprehensive overview of temperature variability and trends, high-impact events, and long-term indicators of climate change such as increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, sea level rise and ocean acidification. NOAA calls it the third warmest year on record, due to slight variation in the ways that they analyze temperatures. Two other scientific groups that use satellite, not ground, measurements split on 2017 being second or third hottest. NASA said the global temperature was 1.62 degrees above the 1951-1980 average.

Data from both agencies show that the five warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010. However, the two reports agree that Earth is undergoing a long-term warming trend that shows no sign of abating, and that rising temperatures are driven by human activity, largely through the production of greenhouse gasses.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said correspondents on Thursday, "The planet is warming remarkably uniformly".

Average surface temperatures in 2017 were 1.1 C above pre-industrial times, creeping towards a 1.5 C ceiling set as the limit for global warming by nearly 200 nations under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Pockets of record warmth were observed in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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