“We’re in a long-term warming trend,” Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies said at a news conference on Thursday. “The planet is warming remarkably uniformly.”
“There is year-to-year variability, but the long-term trends are clear,” Deke Arndt, chief of the global monitoring branch of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, said.
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And the Arctic is feeling the heat. Arndt noted that the region is warming “much faster than the global average.”
Over the past century, Earth’s global temperature has risen by more than 1 C, largely due to an increase of carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions, NASA said in its report.
“Basically all of the warming in the last 60 years is attributable to human activities, and carbon emissions is the No. 1 component of that,” Schmidt said.
While El Nino and La Nina can play a role in global temperatures, they contribute to short-term changes in global temperatures, as was evident in both 2015 and 2016. El Nino causes a rise in global temperatures, while La Nina tends to cause some cooling.
There was no El Nino in 2017, but La Nina began at the end of the year. NASA noted that an analysis which removed both patterns concluded that 2017 would have been the warmest year on record.
“It’s the long-term trend that’s pushing these numbers up,” Schmidt said.