New data from NASA and the United Nations show 2017 was among the hottest years in recorded history, second only to 2016—as global carbon dioxide levels soared to a new record level and global surface temperatures rose by 2 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels. This is Omar Baddour, senior scientist with the World Meteorological Organization.
Omar Baddour: “Today we can announce that 2017 year is equally second warmest, along with 2015. And we can also say that it’s part of the three warmest years on record. The three warmest years on record are, namely, 2015, 2016 and 2017.”
2017’s near-record heat came without El Niño weather patterns that historically drive global temperatures higher—suggesting that human activity has dwarfed natural variability as the largest driver of climate change.