April 25, 2018

Global warming is real, according to NASA, which actually knows this stuff

19 January 2018, 01:56 | Francis Delgado

Fossil fuel pollution helped make 2017 one of the hottest on record

Fossil fuel pollution helped make 2017 one of the hottest on record

"The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one", Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said.

In NOAA's report, during 2017, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit (0.84 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average.

The upward trend in global temperatures marked by record-shattering warmth in 2015 and 2016 kept pace past year, 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".

Either way, scientists say it showed a clear signal of man-made global warming because it was the hottest year they've seen without an El Niño boosting temperatures naturally.

El Niño, an annual ocean current that runs through the central Pacific that can cause temperature shifts in atmospheric circulation, was not behind the warm temperature in 2017, scientists said.

Trends in the decline of Arctic sea ice extent continued in 2017, NOAA's report says.

Earth's long-term warming trend continued in 2017, with the average surface temperature only slightly below the record heat of the two previous years, according to USA government scientists.

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"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.

The five warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010.

The globe hasn't had a cooler-than-average year since 1976 - a stretch of 41 consecutive warm years - NOAA said.

"When even "colder" (non-El Nino) years are rewriting the warmest year record books we know we have a problem", said Dave Reay, the Carbon Management chair at the University of Edinburgh. "And we're not going to go back".

Average surface temperatures in 2017 were 1.1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial times, creeping towards a 1.5C ceiling set as the most ambitious limit for global warming by nearly 200 nations under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

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

But US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord has rattled the global community and complicated efforts at forging joint action - even though many US state governments insist they remain committed to cut emissions.

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