Things are heating up here on Earth, as the planet's temperature sizzled to a new record high for the third year in a row, government scientists announced Wednesday, Jan. 18.
NASA and NOAA, which separately analyze global temperature data, have both found that global temperatures surpassed records for the past three years.
NOAA's calculations put the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces at 1.69°F (0.94°C) above the 20th century average, while NASA puts the globally-averaged temperatures for the year at 1.78°F (0.99°C) warmer than the mid-20th century average. It is undeniable. Since the late 19th century, the average surface temperature of the globe has shot up by 1.1 degrees Celsius.
"It's very, very hard to understand, if it wasn't the culprit, why somebody left carbon dioxide's fingerprints all over the crime scene", Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City told BuzzFeed News.
Government scientists say the Earth sizzled to a third straight heat record previous year. But the long-term warming trend should continue to go up and, Arndt says, threatens new records nearly every year.
"This was the third year in a row in our analysis to set a new record".
For the United States, 2016 was the second-hottest year on record, NOAA said. Scientists say that this year's figures were created by the combined effect of manmade greenhouse gasses and the natural meteorological phenomenon of El Nino, a long-period temperature oscillation in the Pacific Ocean.
He added, "most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001".
The annual Antarctic sea ice extent was the second smallest on record, behind 1986, at 4.31 million square miles. Pruitt has ardently defended fossil fuels and fought against federal efforts to regulate greenhouse gases that warm the planet. California, a state that has experienced record drought over the past few years, has already seen a lot of rainfall, while other areas around the USA have cooled compared to a year ago.
We might even look back at these record years one day and consider them "cool", says Australian National University climate scientist Sophie Lewis.
Three governmental agencies - two American, one British - released their findings Wednesday but showed slight variations concerning exactly how much the Earth's temperature has risen from past year.
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