Last three years hottest on record

Steve Phelps
January 19, 2018

The findings, which match a projection by the WMO in November, now have full-year data including from NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Britain's Met Office with the University of East Anglia.

Meanwhile, NOAA researchers' assessment placed 2017 as the third warmest year, reporting global average temperatures as 1.51 degrees F (0.84 degrees C) above average.

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

The last three years were the hottest on record, according to a new United Nations report, and 2017 was the second-warmest ever.

Consolidated data from five leading worldwide weather agencies shows that "2015, 2016 and 2017 have been confirmed as the three warmest years on record", the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said.

He noted extreme weather events, damage to coral reefs and even the feminisation of turtle populations in Australia as consequences of the rising global temperatures now being observed.

NASA discovered that 2017 was 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (.9 degrees Celsius) higher than the average temperature from 1951 through 1980.

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Prior to this report, 2015 was ranked as the second hottest year and 2014 as the third hottest.

NASA release said the planet's average surface temperature rising to about 2 degree Fahrenheit (a little more than 1 degree Celsius) during the last century or so to "a change driven largely by increase carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere".

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

The two agencies use slightly different methods to analyze global temperatures, which accounts for the variation in rankings, NOAA representatives said in a statement. What really matters is the clear warming trend, he said.

"The most recent global temperature observations are in line with what we expected, both from our underlying theory, but also our model projections and understanding of the climate system", said Dr Dann Mitchell, Natural Environment Research Council research fellow at the University of Bristol.

Much of the globe's recorded temperatures were near or above average in 2017, according to NOAA. But both agencies agreed that the five warmest years have all been since 2010 and if not for the lack of an El Nino weather pattern of 2017, it would have been the hottest year ever recorded. According to the averaging monthly data from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, the average annual sea ice extent in the Arctic was the second smallest in the 1979-2017 record.

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