Nov 9, 2017

State of the climate: 2017 shaping up to be warmest ‘non-El Niño’ year

Arctic
by
Zeke Hausfather
,
Carbon Brief
Pine trees in Gran Canaria after a wildfire, October 2017. Photo: Tamara Kulikova Alamy Stock Photo
Pine trees in Gran Canaria after a wildfire, October 2017. Photo: Tamara Kulikova Alamy Stock Photo

The year 2017 has seen some of the warmest temperatures ever recorded, only slightly below the record set in 2016. It has also seen unusually low Arctic and Antarctic sea ice for much of the year, though the summer Arctic minimum was only the eighth lowest on record.

2017 is also almost certain to be the warmest year without an El Niño event. When the effects of El Niño and La Niña are removed from the temperature record, the first nine months of 2017 are likely the warmest ever recorded.

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Carbon Brief has examined global temperature data from eight different climate centres around the world, both for the Earth’s surface and the lower troposphere (TLT). Temperatures for the full year of 2017 were estimated using the data available to-date for each dataset, along with projection of the El Niño Index for the remainder of 2017 (see methods at the end of the article for technical details).