FLORIDA, United States, Wednesday January 24, 2018 – After three consecutive years of record-high temperatures for the globe, Earth was a slightly cooler planet in 2017. But not by much.
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have confirmed that Earth’s long-term warming trend continues.
The globally averaged temperature for 2017 made it the third warmest year in NOAA’s 138-year climate record, behind 2016 (warmest) and 2015 (second warmest).
However, unlike the past two years, Earth’s average temperature in 2017 was not influenced by the warming effect of an El Nino, say scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
The average temperature across the globe in 2017 was 1.51 degrees F above the 20th century average of 57 degrees F. 2017 marks the 41st consecutive year (since 1977) with global land and ocean temperatures at least nominally above the 20th-century average. The six warmest years on record for the planet have all occurred since 2010.
In a separate analysis of global temperature data released at the same time, NASA scientists ranked 2017 as the second warmest year on record. The minor difference in rankings is due to the different methods used by the two agencies to analyze global temperatures; though over the long term, the agencies’ records remain in strong agreement. Both analyses show that the five warmest years on record all have taken place since 2010.
Analyses from the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organization also ranked 2017 among the top three warmest years on record.