NASA has reported 2017 as the second warmest year on record since 1880, when measuring climate on a global level first became possible.
Scientists from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), New York, said “globally averaged temperatures in 2017 were 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean”. This, according to the scientists, was second only to the global temperatures in 2016. A NASA release on Thursday described this as a continuing long-term warming trend.
To clarify: Yes, we are talking about the five warmest years in the modern record, which dates to 1880. See first tweet in this thread for context. https://t.co/9Mnnuy1wij
— NASA GISS (@NASAGISS) January 18, 2018
A separate study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed the year as the third-hottest for planet Earth. NASA, that reported the year to be second warmest year, explained that the “minor difference in rankings is due to the different methods used by the two agencies to analyse global temperatures”.
Earth The Warmest Since 2010
The NASA release, however, added that both the organisations agreed that the five warmest years in the planet’s history had all been recorded since 2010.
According to NASA, earth’s “average surface temperature” has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, a little more than 1 degree Celsius, during the last century or so.
Last year was the third consecutive year in which global temperatures were more than 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) above late nineteenth-century levels, the agency has concluded.
Scientists attribute this change mainly to increased carbon dioxide and “other human-made emissions” into the atmosphere.
Colder, Yet Warmer
GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said that despite “colder than average temperatures in any one part of the world, temperatures over the planet as a whole continue the rapid warming trend we’ve seen over the last 40 years.”
According to the NASA report, warming trends are strongest in the Arctic regions, where 2017 saw the continued loss of sea ice.
South America had its second warmest year on record; Asia, its third; Africa, its fourth; Europe, its fifth; and North America and Oceania, their sixth.
-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
El Nino And La Nina
Phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña, which warm or cool the upper tropical Pacific Ocean and cause corresponding variations in global wind and weather patterns, contribute to short-term variations in global average temperature.
A warming El Niño event was in effect for most of 2015 and the first third of 2016. Even without an El Niño event – and with a La Niña starting in the later months of 2017 – last year’s temperatures ranked between 2015 and 2016 in NASA’s records.
-National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Global temperatures have been on a steady hike for several decades largely due to Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. These are the consequences of human activities like burning fossil fuels and reckless deforestation.
NASA’s analyses takes into account measurements from 6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations.