NASA Declares 2017 The Second-Hottest Year On Record

2017 was among the planet's hottest years on record, government scientists report

The global average temperature in 2017 was 58.51 degrees Fahrenheit (14.7 degrees Celsius), which is 1.51 degrees (0.84 Celsius) above the 20th Century average and just behind 2016 and 2015, NOAA said.

The planet went through one of its warmest years on record in 2017, according to analyses from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday. NASA noted that the slight difference between NOAA's analysis and their own is a result of slightly different methods used between the two agencies to interpret the temperature data.

But El Nino was not behind the warm temperatures in 2017.

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

Yet scientists at both federal agencies reached the same grave conclusion: The Earth is heating up.

Earlier, European forecasters called 2017 the second hottest year, while the Japanese Meteorological Agency called it the third hottest. In order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, scientists say global temperatures must not increase more than 2 degrees Celsius.

"Basically, all of the warming in the last 60 years is attributable to human activities", said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in NY. Specifically, the five warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010, NOAA and NASA agree.

"The record temperature should focus the minds of world leaders, including President Trump, on the scale and urgency of the risks that people, rich and poor, face around the world from climate change", said Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the London School of Economics.

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.

In addition to the official USA agencies, a number of additional expert outlets have tracked temperatures and found results consistent with those of NOAA and NASA. "It's really warming faster than anywhere on earth". Two other scientific groups that use satellite, not ground, measurements split on 2017 being second or third hottest.

Findings from both NASA and NOAA were shown to be closely aligned with recent analyses conducted by the World Meteorological Organization and the UK's Meteorological Office - the two most widely revered temperature authorities in the world.

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