NASA predicts 2016 will be the warmest year on record for Earth, but forecasters offer a prediction of relief for 2017. Weather forecasters say a new annual record is unlikely in 2017 since the effect of El Niño is fading. That does not mean 2017 will be much cooler, however. Forecasters say the long-term trend is towards warming, but there is natural variability, bringing ups and downs to overall temperatures each year, according to Reuters. La Niña, the cool counterpart to El Niño, is expected to be weak and develop late this fall or early winter. July of this year was the hottest single month since records began in the 19th century. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association says July was the 15th month in a row to break a monthly heat record. Records date back 137 years to 1880.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
Two key climate change indicators — global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent — have broken numerous records through the first half of 2016, according to NASA analyses of ground-based observations and satellite data.
Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The six-month period from January to June was also the planet’s warmest half-year on record, with an average temperature 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the late nineteenth century.
Five of the first six months set records for the smallest monthly Arctic sea ice extent since consistent satellite records began in 1979. NASA researchers are in the field this summer, collecting data to better understand our changing climate.
Image credit: (top left) Courtesy of NASA.