2017 Crushed a Major Temperature Record and Scientists are Sounding the Alarm

It’s been very cold over North America for days, but globally, 2017 has ended up smashing the record for the hottest year on record without an El Niño. And that has scientists worried, since the warmest years usually happen when the long-term human-caused global warming trend gets a short-term boost from an El Niño’s enhanced warming in the tropical Pacific.

State of the Climate: 2017 Shaping up to be Warmest ‘Non-El Niño’ Year

The year 2017 has seen some of the warmest temperatures ever recorded, only slightly below the record set in 2016. It has also seen unusually low Arctic and Antarctic sea ice for much of the year, though the summer Arctic minimum was only the eighth lowest on record. 2017 is also almost certain to be the warmest year without an El Niño event. When the effects of El Niño and La Niña are removed from the temperature record, the first nine months of 2017 are likely the warmest ever recorded.