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2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, thanks to global warming

10 January 2018 | Adaptation

2017 was the second-hottest year on record according to Nasa data, and was the hottest year without the short-term warming influence of an El Niño event:

1964–2017 global surface temperature data from Nasa, divided into El Niño (red), La Niña (blue), and neutral (black) years, with linear trends added.

In fact, 2017 was the hottest year without an El Niño by a wide margin – a whopping 0.17°C hotter than 2014, which previously held that record. Remarkably, 2017 was also hotter than 2015, which at the time was by far the hottest year on record thanks in part to a strong El Niño event that year.

For comparison, the neutral El Niño conditions and the level of solar activity in 1972 were quite similar to those in 2017. 45 years later, the latter was 0.9°C hotter than the former. For each type of year – La Niña, El Niño, and neutral – the global surface warming trend between 1964 and 2017 is 0.17–0.18°C per decade, which is consistent with climate model predictions.

Climate scientists predicted this rapid temperature rise

It was only a matter of time until short-term effects stopped holding back the rise of Earth’s surface temperatures. That’s now happened, and as a result we’re seeing unleashed global warming causing record temperatures year after year.

Temperatures have in fact risen so quickly, it appears to have taken just a few years for that prediction to come true and for the denier focus on the short-term surface warming slowdown to look quite foolish.

Feeling the burn of climate change consequences

America was also battered by climate-fueled extreme weather events in 2017. Research has already shown that global warming boosted Hurricane Harvey’s record rainfall (and associated flooding) by about 38%. California’s record wildfire season was similarly fueled by the state’s hot summer. The southwestern states were cooked by record hot summer temperatures this year, and global warming is making droughts in America and Europe worse. America was hit by 15 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2017, and it will likely be the costliest such year on record once all of the hurricane damages are tallied.

These extreme weather events are expensive, and they’re a mere taste of what’s to come. Until we manage to cut global carbon pollution, temperatures will continue to rise and climate change consequences will become more severe. While it broke many of today’s records, 2017 is just a taste of what’s to come.

 

 

Source: The Guardian