2017 in top three hottest years on record

  Last updated November 28, 2017 at 9:58 am

Topics:  

With only two months of the year left, it looks like 2017 will comfortably sit within the top three hottest years on record.


There are continued trends of global warming, as revealed in a provisional Statement on the State of the Climate from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


Place your bets between 2017 and 2015 which are competing for second and third place for the hottest year on record, with 2016 remaining the top spot. The Statement showed the average global temperature from January to September 2017 was approximately 1.1°C about the pre-industrial era.



“Although 2017 will not be the world’s warmest year on record, it will still be warmer than any year before 2015,” stated Dr Blair Trewin, the Scientific Coordinator of the WMO Statement.


“2017 saw record-breaking heatwaves in Chile, the Mediterranean, Southwest Asia and California, as well as continuing severe drought in East Africa and destructive floods in the Indian subcontinent, and a very active North Atlantic hurricane season.”


The WMO statement is released on the opening day of COP23, the United National climate change conference in Bonn, Germany.


Selected highlights reveal 2017 trends in global temperatures (they’re rising), precipitation (wetter than average in some places, drier than average in other places), ice and snow (Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent was well below average), sea level (relatively stable, but starting to rise again), ocean heat (sustained high temperatures, with mention of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef), ocean acidification (steadily increasing as the ocean continues to absorb CO2), greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, nitrous oxide levels increased).


It also covers an overview into extreme events and impacts ranging from tropical cyclones, flooding, drought, major heatwaves and wildfires.


Some of the extreme weather mentions included Australian events:


“Much of eastern Australia experienced extreme heat in January and February, peaking on 11-12 February when temperatures reached 47°C.


“There were also significant fires during the 2016-2017 Southern Hemisphere summer in various parts of eastern Australia.


“Other regions where record low temperatures occurred in 2017 included some locations in inland south-eastern Australia in early July, where Canberra had its lowest temperature (−8.7°C) since 1971.”


Read these reactions from Australian experts about the WMO Statement:


Associate Professor Ana Vila Concejo is Deputy Director of the University of Sydney’s One Tree Island Research Station.


“Global coral bleaching has caused great damage to coral reefs of the world, including the Great Barrier Reef. The ecological impacts are terrible but there are also physical effects.


Coral reefs are the greatest wave dissipaters of the world, protecting the land behind them from the incoming waves. Reefs without live corals do not provide as much protection; protecting coral reefs means protecting the coasts behind them”


Dr Don Clifton from UniSA’s School of Management


“The scientific evidence supporting human-caused global warming is overwhelming.


Yet progress to address the problem is still hampered by ideology over evidence, political inaction, and the self-interest of powerful players in industries that are key drivers of our impact on the climate.


We are at high risk of leaving a terrible legacy to future generations who have no say in our actions (and inactions) that impact on them.


We owe it to our children, and their children, and every other species we share the planet with, to get on with the job of taking decisive steps to do what is needed. Hopefully the latest WMO release will help and not end up being just another report put on the evidence pile that has so far failed to trigger the needed action. ”


Dr Andrew King is Climate Extremes Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, University of Melbourne.


“Even without an El Niño boost it looks like 2017 will be one of the hottest years on record. This year fits into the long-term trend of global warming with more hot years set to come over the next decade or two. We have now had a little over 1-degree Celsius of global temperature rise due to human-caused climate change and even if we meet the Paris global warming targets we can expect to see more frequent and intense extreme weather events, especially heatwaves, in the future. In that sense 2017 provides a window to our warmer future.”


Associate Professor Martina Doblin from the Climate Change Cluster (C3), University of Technology Sydney (UTS)


“Many animals, including humans, have the capacity to modify their behaviour and seek refuge in the face of environmental stress. For organisms attached to the seafloor, such as marine macroalgae, there is no escape.


The recent WMO update of hotter temperatures therefore spells bad news for these marine primary producers that are known to have upper limits of temperature tolerance. Just as the highly exposed or sensitive members of the human population are at risk of overheating, so are macroalgae and seagrasses. In fact, marine heatwaves experienced in Australia have already caused massive dieback of these important marine primary producers, threatening the socioeconomic benefits provided by coastal ecosystems.


The increased risk of further heat waves (intensive heat over relatively short time scales) as well as exposure to warmer temperatures over the longer term, suggest that recovery will depend on thermally-resistant individuals that may trade-off high temperature tolerance with other important attributes such as nutritional value or rapid growth. Such organisms therefore have the potential of surviving a warming climate, but at the cost of their functional capacity, with cascading impacts to the rest of the ecosystem.”


Dr Ashraf Dewan is from Curtin University; he has recently spent two years as a member of the World Meteorological Organization’s Commission for Climatology (CCI) on Mortality Extremes


“It is quite clear that Australia and the rest of the world has been suffering from climate extremes, and that we are seeing flooding, extreme temperatures and wild weather more frequently than ever before, and in places never before impacted. For example Canberra experienced the lowest temperature in 46 years when it recorded minus 8.7 in July this year. The City of Shanghai witnessed a record 40.9 degree celcius temperature during summer of 2017. During monsoon season this year, India experienced below average rainfall, while three hurricanes hit the North Atlantic. This new data by WMO is a wakeup call for us as extreme events are increasing exposure of countries and people to a multitude of hazards.”


Pep Canadell, CSIRO Research Scientist, and Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project


“It is most significant that temperatures haven’t returned to pre-El Niño yet, 1.5 years after it ended. Although we don’t know all the details as to why, the human interference of the climate system has never been so clearly manifested as the background global temperature continues to rise in response to greenhouse gas emissions.”


Dr Liz Hanna is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University


“Alarming – but not unexpected.


After three consecutive years (2014 to 2016) of world breaking heat records, the World Meteorological Organization now reveals that the exceptional heat of 2017 is likely to come in as second or third hottest. This surge in global warming is alarming, but not unexpected. Global atmospheric CO2 levels are now 46 per cent  higher than pre-industrial levels.



Source


This escalation of warming should be sending alarm bells to all Australians, as Australia is over 10o°C hotter than the global average, and there is an upper limit to human tolerance to heat.


This extra warming brings more frequent, longer and more intense heat waves. Temperatures over 50°C are coming, and we simply cannot keep functioning in such temperatures where we cannot move and cannot work without overheating.


Air-conditioning can only ever provide limited relief, and only to some. Trees, animals and people all wilt in the heat.


This surge in warming should prompt a surge in effort to ramp up Australia’s mitigation efforts, transitioning to renewables.


Most importantly, this should further finally stop support for expanding our coal industry. A government that truly represents the nation must prioritise health protection. It is unconscionable to knowingly sacrifice health and wellbeing”


Expert comments gathered by the Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC).


Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get all the latest science.




About the Author

Kelly Wong
Online producer at Australia's Science Channel. I have a background in immunology, food blogging, volunteering, and social media. I'm passionate about creating communities on social media and getting them excited about science. I enjoy good food and I am on an eternal mission to find the best ice cream. Find me on Twitter @kellyyyllek

Published By

Science and technology is as much a part of our cultural fabric as art, music, theatre and literature. They play a significant role in our daily lives, yet, in a world dependent on science, we often take them for granted. Australia’s Science Channel believes every citizen has a right, and a responsibility, to be informed, and our mission is to create programs to bring that about.


Featured Videos

Placeholder
How technology is changing the future of cancer treatment in Australia
Placeholder
Sean Geoghegan - Meet a Medical Physicist
Placeholder
Bringing Japan's breakthrough cancer technology to Australia
Placeholder
Columbia: NASA blew it
Placeholder
The Face of a Stranger
Placeholder
Where Does Space Begin?
Placeholder
The Rarest Drug on Earth
Placeholder
Why is blue so rare in nature
Placeholder
Ant Sisters
Placeholder
Jeremy the Lefty Snail and Other Asymmetrical Animals
Placeholder
Tracking Snow
Placeholder
Smart Slime?
Placeholder
Good in the machine
Placeholder
Kessler Syndrome: What happens when satellites collide?
Placeholder
Why This Skateboarding Trick Should Be Impossible
Placeholder
Charles Camarda on becoming an astronaut
Placeholder
Alan Duffy on what it took to get humans to the Moon
Placeholder
Do aliens exist? Brian Cox explains
Placeholder
From Apollo to Pulsars: Parkes still dishing out the discoveries
Placeholder
Brian Cox on black holes
Placeholder
Australia's 60,000 years of space history
Placeholder
In Class With… Jane Goodall
Placeholder
Etienne Rastoin-Laplane - What's fishy about the Galapagos?
Placeholder
Kit Prendergast - Flowers to keep native bees buzzing
Placeholder
Rebecca Wellard - Eavesdropping on killer whales
Placeholder
Hossein Tavassoli - Mending broken hearts
Placeholder
Dilan Seckiner - Forensic gait analysis
Placeholder
Samuel Bladwell - A new spin on electronics
Placeholder
Sathana Dushyanthen - The double-edged cancer sword
Placeholder
Dwan Price - Nuts and Guts
Placeholder
Catriona Nguyen-Robertson - Exercise takes your immune system for a ride
Placeholder
Thimo Ruethers - The deadly danger of crocs on a plate
Placeholder
Amanda Tauber - Slamming the brakes on metastatic cancer
Placeholder
Hayley Teasdale – The ball that prevents falls (FameLab Australia 2019 Runner-up)
Placeholder
In the Shadow of a Black Hole
Placeholder
In Class With... Monica Gagliano
Placeholder
In Class With... Brian Cox
Placeholder
Start your FameLab 2019 journey now
Placeholder
Nural Cokcetin - It all starts with FameLab
Placeholder
Erinn Fagan-Jeffries - It all starts with FameLab
Placeholder
Ronald Yu - It all starts with FameLab
Placeholder
Noushin Nasiri - It all starts with FameLab
Placeholder
Grassroots
Placeholder
What is machine learning?
Placeholder
Mythbusting artificial intelligence with expert Anton van den Hengel
Placeholder
Using machine learning to predict medical outcomes
Placeholder
KCLOC
Placeholder
Nature Calls
Placeholder
Mexican Fishing Bats
Placeholder
Bittersweet
Placeholder
Timelapse
Placeholder
Invisible Blanket
Placeholder
Look
Placeholder
The Anomalies: Venom Race
Placeholder
Science Meets Making
Placeholder
Spiral
Placeholder
Looking Out There
Placeholder
Protectors of the Penguins
Placeholder
Astroturf
Placeholder
Virtual Humans
Placeholder
Rancheros del Jaguar
Placeholder
Searching For Dark Matter
Placeholder
Finding prehistoric mega-shark fossils on Victoria's coast
Placeholder
The Grandfather of computers
Placeholder
James Cameron talks science
Placeholder
In Class With.....David Suzuki - The Environment
Placeholder
In Class With.....David Suzuki - Career
Placeholder
Sustainable water use with Doug Green
Placeholder
Why is Indigenous science important?
Placeholder
Vanessa Pirotta - Using drones to collect whale snot (FameLab Australia 2018 Winner)
Placeholder
Toby Hendy - Poking Plants (FameLab Australia 2018 Runner-Up)
Placeholder
Muthu Vignesh Vellayappan - Groovy Patches (FameLab Australia 2018 Audience Choice)
Placeholder
Taryn Laubenstein - The Tail of Two Fishes
Placeholder
Richard Charlesworth - Coeliac disease diagnosis can be a pain in the posterior
Placeholder
Pegah Maasoumi - Solar Windows
Placeholder
James Wong - Breathing while you hop: How do kangaroos do it?
Placeholder
Ben McAllister - The ORGAN Experiment: Shining a light on dark matter
Placeholder
Mortaza Rezae - Empowering beautiful minds
Placeholder
Zane Stromberga - Can allergy drugs beat bladder disease?
Placeholder
Working In.....Art - Astrophotography
Placeholder
What's the best way to move - springs or muscles?
Placeholder
FameLab Australia Semi-Final Highlights
Placeholder
Saving lives with platypus milk
Placeholder
Australian astronomers witness death throes of a cocooned star
Placeholder
How Australia's politicians see our future in space
Placeholder
Keeping satellites in the loop
Placeholder
Tim Flannery talks about COP
Placeholder
Tim Jarvis & Tim Flannery talk Climate Change
Placeholder
Andy's Week in Science - robo baby, university rankings, and cancer on circadian rhythms
Placeholder
From chocolate factory to surgery - the milliDelta robot
Placeholder
Andy's Week in Science: video games, low tech transition windows and a new CRISPR technique
Placeholder
Science lessons useful in Art Restoration career
Placeholder
Are drones the future of racing?
Placeholder
The future of esports according to the experts
Placeholder
Seeing is believing with artist Eugenie Lee
Placeholder
The human impact of Art Science collaboration
Placeholder
Follow your Interests in Robotics
Placeholder
Zoz on 3D Printing
Placeholder
Flavia Tata Nardini on women in engineering
Placeholder
Flavia Tata Nardini on the future of the internet
Placeholder
Explore the ocean floor and Antarctic biodiversity
Placeholder
Follow your interests in Medical Research
Placeholder
Artists on Science
Placeholder
What is Space Archaeology?
Placeholder
Follow your Interests
Placeholder
Scientists on Art
Placeholder
3D Printing in Medical Research
Placeholder
Ethical Issues
Placeholder
Problem Solving - Robotics at Dermatec
Placeholder
Problem Solving with CSI
Placeholder
Tamarah King - Earthquake Geologist
Placeholder
True or False with Bajo and Rad BONUS ROUND
Placeholder
True or False with Bajo & Rad
Placeholder
Andy's Week in Science - Cats vs Dogs
Placeholder
FameLab 2018 - Get Involved!
Placeholder
Nural Cokcetin - How FameLab changed my life
Placeholder
Erinn Fagan-Jeffries - How FameLab changed my life
Placeholder
Noushin Nasiri - How FameLab changed my life
Placeholder
Ronald Yu - How FameLab changed my life
Placeholder
Alan Duffy's Top 5 Science Communication Tips
Placeholder
A Judge's Top Tips for FameLab Australia
Placeholder
Brain Candy - Why, Why, Why Michael Stevens?
Placeholder
The Past, Present, and Future of Malaria
Placeholder
This is a video of poo pills being made!
Placeholder
Mind Games - Sports Psychology
Placeholder
Fuel to Win - Sports Nutrition
Placeholder
Fifty years since Australia beat the world to space
Placeholder
ECR Network: Talk Your Science with Alan Duffy
Placeholder
Andy's Week in Science - chimps, klompen, and clouds
Placeholder
Our robot medicine future - heart huggers and micro biohybrids
Placeholder
Six Awkward Cancer Questions
Placeholder
How do you tell if a whale is left-handed?
Placeholder
She Flies - Turning Girls into Drone Pilots
Placeholder
Andy's Week in Science - Magnetic Fabric, Cancer Treatments, and Echolocation
Placeholder
The Science of Sexuality
Placeholder
Sailing Through Space with Bill Nye
Placeholder
Using Sports Science to Help Olympic Athletes
Placeholder
Three and a Half Minutes of Top Shelf Career Advice
Placeholder
New Space Tech with Andrea Boyd
Placeholder
Kelly Meets the Mars Curiosity Rover
Placeholder
Hearts, Opera, and Tough Conversations - Andy's Week in Science
Placeholder
Bill Nye on Science, Girls, and Saving the World!
Placeholder
2017 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science Part 2
Placeholder
2017 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science Part 1
Placeholder
Who Decides the Law in Space?
Placeholder
Scientists Watch Collision That Created Gravitational Waves
Placeholder
Getting Cold Feet Leads to a Whole New Career
Placeholder
ECR Network - Why Every Scientist Should Be on Twitter - The Benefits
Placeholder
ECR Network - Why Every Scientist Should Be On Twitter - The Fears
Placeholder
Live Podcast - Life Vs Science
Placeholder
Origami Robots, Babies, and Kidneys - Andy's Week in Science
Placeholder
Namira Salim and the Zero-G Peace Summit
Placeholder
Elon Musk's Mars Plan: Expert Analysis
Placeholder
SPACE AF - Thursday
Placeholder
My Time in Space
Placeholder
IAC TV Daily Broadcast - Wednesday
Placeholder
SPACE AF - Wednesday
Placeholder
IAC TV Daily broadcast - Tuesday
Placeholder
SPACE AF - Tuesday
Placeholder
IAC TV daily broadcast - Monday
01:00:41
Placeholder
SPACE AF - Monday
Placeholder
Live from IAC 2017
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Technology Rewrites History
Placeholder
Methamphetamine - Gateway Drug to Parkinson's Disease
Placeholder
Concussion, 3D BioPrinting, and The Universe - Andy's Week in Science
Placeholder
Pulsars, Clearwigs, and Pacemakers - Andy's Week in Science
Placeholder
Revolutions - The Quest to Transform HPV Racing
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Hurricane Irma Blows Away Tesla's Rip Off
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - The Limit of Your Lifespan
Placeholder
The Recipient
Placeholder
Think Like a Scientist: Natural Selection in an Outbreak
Placeholder
The End of Snow
Placeholder
The Next Rembrandt
Placeholder
The Discarded
Placeholder
The Spectators
Placeholder
Test Tube Babes
Placeholder
Pangolins in Peril- A Story of Rare Scales
Placeholder
Rock Art Project
Placeholder
Pork.0
Placeholder
OWSIA (Darkened Water)
Placeholder
Nex
Placeholder
Northern Quolls
Placeholder
Dish Life
Placeholder
At Street Level
Placeholder
Custom Love
Placeholder
Adrift
Placeholder
A Story from Space
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - The Most Dangerous Thing in Boxing May Be the Gloves
Placeholder
ECR Network 2017 – Get Interdisciplinary!
01:27:00
Placeholder
Chris Hadfield: The Future of Space Exploration
Placeholder
Chris Hadfield: Life After Space
Placeholder
Chris Hadfield: Life in Space
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Let's Make Algae Australian of the Year
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Australia's Energy Showdown
Placeholder
Nine Awkward Astrophysicist Questions
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - There's No Such Thing as an Exercise Pill
Placeholder
National Science Week Awards Show
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Your 5 Step Asteroid Success Plan
Placeholder
National Science Week Forecast
Placeholder
Open Doors. Open Future. Open Day.
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Lose a Little to Gain Millions
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Crowd Sourcing Origami Astronaut Protection
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - T-Rex's Prehistoric Power Walk
Placeholder
True or False with Kale Brock
Placeholder
The Grandfather Paradox
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - The Hidden Heroes Tackling Mozzies
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Emergency AI Assistance
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Frogs Forever, Dinosaurs Never!
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Australia, Let's Go To Space
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Welcome to the Microbiome, Archaea!
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Roos Blindside Driverless Cars
Placeholder
Biodiversity of Antarctica Under Threat From Increase In Ice-Free Areas
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - The Future of the Census
Placeholder
Tell Me! Brian Cox
Placeholder
Crash, Burn, Tweak, Repeat
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Humans Just Got Older and Wiser
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Cheers to Brain Health?
Placeholder
Gene Therapy Could Cure Allergies
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - iHeart Hacking
Placeholder
Ridiculology - New Hubble
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Trees Alone Can't Save Us
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Earth's Accidental Force Field
Placeholder
Dinosaurs on the Big Screen
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Farewell MP3
Placeholder
Kids Beat Grown-ups on Pneumonia Vaccines
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - The Booger Conspiracy
Placeholder
FameLab 2017 National Final - Part 2
Placeholder
FameLab 2017 National Final - Part 1
Placeholder
2017 Budget Response
Placeholder
What Are Animal Weapons?
Placeholder
If You Love Both Art and Science, Be a Scientific Illustrator
Placeholder
Getting Personal With Skinks
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - CSIRO Email Leaks
Placeholder
FameLab 2017 Western Australia Semi-Final Highlights
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - New Hope for Premmies
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Britain Goes Coal-Free
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Naked Mole-Rats (SFW)
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Easter Reminders
Placeholder
Meet Andrea Boyd - Space Flight Controller
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Sperm Drug Smugglers
Placeholder
FameLab 2017 New South Wales Semi-Final Highlights
Placeholder
The Science of Fiction
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Liquorice Poisoning
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Crowdsourcing Science
Placeholder
FameLab 2017 Queensland Semi-Final Highlights
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - SpaceX Preps for Relaunch
Placeholder
Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome Breakthrough
Placeholder
Brew Ha Ha - Surviving a Media Storm
Placeholder
Will This Aussie Team Win the Race to Create the Ultimate Malaria Vaccine?