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It was so hot in 2017 that a computer program threw out an entire year’s worth of Alaskan weather data because it seemed like a statistical anomaly. It was so hot, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now predicts that Arctic ice might not reliably freeze every year anymore, and the region’s tundras are increasingly green as permafrost thaws.
But surprisingly, 2017 wasn’t the hottest year on record, according to NASA. It came in second, thanks to an exceptionally warm El Nino year in 2016.
Blip - Temperature - Warming - Trend - Planet
Nevertheless, the slight blip in ever-increasing annual global temperature is consistent with an overall warming trend. The planet’s temperature has risen by about about two degrees Fahrenheit in the past century, largely due to human activities that emit greenhouse gases. All five of the warmest years on record since 1880 have occurred since 2010.
NASA scientists calculated that if the effects of La Nina (an air circulation pattern which tends to cause cooler weather) and El Nino (which tends to cause warmer weather) were removed from the equation, 2017 would have ranked as the number one hottest year on record. By smoothing over the data from shorter-term La Nina and El Nino cycles,...
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