Average global surface temperature 2013-2017, compared with 1951-1980 baseline. Graphic: The Washington Post

By Chris Mooney
18 January 2018

(The Washington Post) – 2017 was among the hottest years ever recorded, government scientists reported Thursday.

The year was the second-hottest in recorded history, NASA said, while scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 2017 was the third-warmest they have ever recorded.

The two government agencies use different methodologies to calculate global temperatures, but by either standard, the 2017 results make the past four years the hottest period in their 138-year archive.

“The planet is warming remarkably uniformly,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told reporters Thursday.

The renewed evidence of climate change, driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, comes as the Trump administration moves to open new areas for oil drilling and rolls back regulations that sought to reduce global warming, most prominently by moving to repeal the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. The administration said it would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement last year.

This has prompted a counter-reaction — with some states, like California, doubling down on climate policies, such as the state’s cap-and-trade system — but the fact remains that it is far from clear at the moment whether a recent trend of slowly declining U.S. greenhouse gas emissions will continue. In 2018, the U.S. Energy Information Administration just predicted, emissions should actually rise by about 1.7 percent. [more]

The planet just had its hottest 4 years in recorded history. Trump is dismantling efforts to fight climate change.

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