2017 warmest year on record without El Niño

19th January 2018


Web globalwarming shutterstock 98702825

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Fossil fuels ,
  • Global

Author

Benedict Orchard

Last year was the second or third warmest ever recorded, despite an absence of the natural temperature-boosting El Niño phenomenon and the onset of its cooling counterpart La Niña.

That is according to provisional figures from the Met Office, which show that the global mean temperature for 2017 was between 0.32˚C and 0.56˚C above the long-term 1981-2010 average.

The two other hottest years were 2015 and 2016, but both of these were influenced by a significant El Niño event.

Had this not been the case, it is thought that 2017 would have been the warmest on record, with the data backed up by estimates from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

“The global temperature figures for 2017 are in agreement with other centres around the world – 2017 is the warmest since 1850 without the influence of El Niño,” Dr Colin Morice of the Met Office Hadley Centre said.

The data is compiled from many thousands of temperature measurements taken across the globe, from all continents and all oceans.

It shows that last year was 0.99˚C (±0.1°C) above pre-industrial levels, taken as the average over the period 1850-1900, and 0.38˚C (±0.1°C) above the 1981-2010 average.

The El Niño event spanning 2015-2016 is estimated to have contributed around 0.2°C to the annual average for 2016, which was about 1.1°C above the long-term average from 1850 to 1900.

However, the scientists said the main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

The previous forecast made by the Met Office at the end of 2016 correctly predicted that last year would be one of the hottest ever.

The Noaa and Met Office judge 2017 to be the third warmest since records began, and NASA rate it as the second hottest, although it is agreed that the five warmest years have taken place since 2010.

“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 over the last 40 years,” NASA climatologist, Gavin Schmid, said.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

In 2020, IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) jointly wrote and published A User Guide to Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. This has now been updated to include three key developments in the field.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Hello and welcome to another edition of Transform. I hope that you’ve had a good and productive few months so far.

28th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close