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NOAA: 2017 State of the Climate Highlights

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Each year from January to June, hundreds of scientists from around the world crunch the numbers on the previous year's climate, reviewing and cataloging everything from sea level, to the number and strength of hurricanes in every part of the ocean, to the size of the Arctic sea ice pack.

Led by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information and published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorology Society, this year's report offers insight on global climate indicators, extreme weather events, and other valuable information on the state of the climate.


Surface Temperature in 2017

2017 was 0.38­-0.48° Celsius (0.68-0.86° Fahrenheit) above the 1981-2010 average, with especially warm conditions in the high latitudes of North America and Russia. It was the warmest non-El Niño year in the instrumental record. Read more.


Surface Temperature Over Time (1900-2017)

Since 1901, the planet’s surface has warmed by 0.7-0.9° Celsius (1.3-1.6° Fahrenheit) per century, but the rate of warming has nearly doubled since 1975 to 1.5-1.8° Celsius (2.7-3.2° Fahrenheit) per century. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998, and the four warmest years on record have all occurred since 2014. Read more.


Mountain Glaciers Over Time (1980-2017)

Based on the preliminary data, 2017, is likely to be the 38th year in a row of mass loss of mountain glaciers worldwide. According to the State of the Climate in 2017, “The cumulative mass balance loss from 1980 to 2016 is -19.9 meters, the equivalent of cutting a 22-meter-thick (72-foot-thick) slice off the top of the average glacier." Read more.


Sea Level Over Time (1993-2017)

Sea levels have been rising for more than a century, though the rise has been accelerating by 0.084 millimeters (three thousands of an inch) per year since 1993. Sea level rise is increasing the severity and frequency of coastal flooding in many parts of the world. Read more.


Carbon Dioxide Over Time (1980-2017)

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, atmospheric carbon dioxide (dark red line) has risen more than 45%, hitting a new record high in 2017 of 405.0 parts per million. Levels go up and down with the seasons, but the long-term trend is clearly upward. Read more.


Drought Area Over Time (1950-2017)

The long-term trend in drought is not rapidly increasing, and global-scale drought conditions temporarily improved in early 2017 compared to recent years. Read more.


Extreme Heat Over Time (1950-2017)

Extreme heat relaxed a bit in 2017 compared to 2016 and 2015, the latter of which holds the record for highest number of hot days. Still, 2017 recorded more than 60 days of extreme daytime heat worldwide, nearly double the 1961-1990 average of 36.5, continuing the long-term trend toward more hot days each year across the globe. Read more.


Visit ametsoc.org to read the full report and climate.gov for more information.

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