Federal scientists say 2017 among warmest years on record

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Both teams found that if it weren't for the El Nino climate pattern in 2017, it would have been the hottest year.

"The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one", Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said.

"Seventeen of the 18 warmest years on record have all been during this century, and the degree of warming during the past three years has been exceptional".

Average surface temperatures in 2017 were 1.1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial times, creeping towards a 1.5C ceiling set as the most ambitious limit for global warming by nearly 200 nations under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

"Despite colder than average temperatures in any one part of the world, temperatures over the planet as a whole continue the rapid warming trend we've seen in the last 40 years", Gavin Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute, said in a written statement. NASA said the global temperature was 1.62 degrees above the 1951-1980 average.

Trends in the decline of Arctic sea ice extent continued in 2017, NOAA's report says.

Previous year was the second or third warmest on record behind 2016, and the hottest without an extra dose of heat caused by an El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean, the United Nations says.

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Fresh data has revealed that "2015, 2016, and 2017 have been confirmed as the warmest years on record" the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has said. Only 2016 was warmer.

The globe hasn't had a cooler-than-average year since 1976 - a stretch of 41 consecutive warm years - NOAA said. However, the two reports agree that Earth is undergoing a long-term warming trend that shows no sign of abating, and that rising temperatures are driven by human activity, largely through the production of greenhouse gasses.

Much of the globe's recorded temperatures were near or above average in 2017, according to NOAA. Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, and SC had their warmest years on record.

This color-coded map displays a progression of changing global surface temperature anomalies up to 2017.

He noted extreme weather events, damage to coral reefs and even the feminisation of turtle populations in Australia as consequences of the rising global temperatures now being observed.

"We need increased levels of ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions combined with concrete actions to reduce disaster risk especially in least developed countries which contribute little to climate change", he underscored.

The release of annual temperature measurements can be used to inform policy makers and business leaders when they make decisions about climate change mitigation.