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.

The fact is that without global warming, “all the natural influences should have made the year cooler than normal; not hotter than normal,” professor of thermal sciences John Abraham explained to ThinkProgress.

Climatologist Michael Mann said in an email that the recent spate of annual temperature records means that not only hasn’t global warming warming slowed down, as the deniers have asserted, “If anything, it’s accelerating as we continue to pump carbon into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels.”

A chart  shows El Niños are generally the hottest years on record  whereas La Niña years, with their cooler-than-normal temperatures in the tropical Pacific, are usually below the global warming trend line.

Environmental scientist Dana Nuccitelli explained in the UK Guardian Tuesday, “For each type of year — La Niña, El Niño, and neutral — the global surface warming trend between 1964 and 2017 is 0.17–0.18°C per decade, which is consistent with climate model predictions.”

What’s so remarkable about 2017, Nuccitelli notes, is that it crushed the old record for hottest non-El Niño year (2014) by “a whopping 0.17°C.” In fact, 2017 was so hot, it’s the second hottest year on record, surpassing even 2015, which had a strong El Niño.

“The fact we continue to see records break regardless of the natural conditions means that we humans have over-ridden the natural cycle,” Abraham points out. “Once again, the real data creates liars of those who deny climate change, like Trump.”

Dr Joe Romm is Founding Editor of Climate Progress

Originally published by Climate Progress

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  1. David Anderson says:

    It gets worse:

    Massive methane reserves exist below the Arctic land areas and the Arctic Ocean floor. Scientists say combined they represent 100 times the amount required to cause another Permian style major extinction event. They exist in the form of methane hydrates trapped in a frozen state. As temperatures rise from CO2 emissions and the surface ice melts, darkened Arctic land mass is being exposed to the sun. Also, melting ice exposes Arctic waters to warming. All of this will cause temperatures to rise beyond the methane hydrate freezing point on land and in the oceans. A methane hydrate feedback loop will begin to “kick in” after 2 C degrees (3.6 F). Our civilization is approaching that 2 C figure. Global temperatures will then rise rapidly. Many scientists are telling us that temperatures far in excess of 4 C degrees are predicted due to a runaway increase in CH4 as a result that feedback loop. During the Permian extinction after 6 C degrees was reached, the ocean surface waters at their extreme eventually reached more than 40 degrees Celsius. (104 degrees Fahrenheit) That led to near total planetary life extinction. Over a 100-year time frame methane is about 35 times more potent than carbon dioxide, over 20 years 84 times more potent.

  2. K SHESHU BAB says:

    Climate change has been a crucial factor for the last decade or so in abrupt seasonal variations recording very high and very low temperatures in unexpected locations. Unless the problem is addressed, more areas may witness abnormal seasons

  3. Fred Miller says:

    Don’t call it ‘Climate Change’. Call it by it’s real name, ‘People driving cars and eating beef’. If you keep calling it by that name, eventually you may realize that there’s a way we can stop it.