But El Nino was not behind the warm temperatures in 2017.
After careful analysis, NASA has declared that 2017 was the second-warmest year since the end of the 19th century. In fact, 2017 is second only to global temperatures in 2016, and climate change deniers can't even blame it on El Niño, because the weather pattern wasn't wreaking havoc previous year.
This map shows Earth's average global temperature from 2013 to 2017, as compared to a baseline average from 1951 to 1980, according to an analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Fresh data has revealed that "2015, 2016, and 2017 have been confirmed as the warmest years on record" the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has said.
Among extreme weather events previous year, the Caribbean and the United States suffered a battering from hurricanes, the Arctic ended 2017 with the least sea ice for mid-winter and tropical coral reefs suffered from high water temperatures.
"The increasing abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities is the direct cause of the recent global warming", research group Berkeley Earth, a non-profit focused on climate analysis, said in a statement.
Figures from a series of different global analyses show that, overall, 2017 was one of the three hottest years on record, with temperatures around 1.1C above pre-industrial levels.
Even more troubling, the year neared the top spot without being boosted by an El Nino climate event, which raises temperatures.
That means the planet's long-term warming trend is continuing, with average global temperatures in 2017 climbing 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 degrees Celsius).
"Seventeen of the 18 warmest years on record have all been during this century, and the degree of warming during the past three years has been exceptional".
The month of December: Despite the cooling influence of a weak La Nina in the latter part of the year, December ended up as the fourth warmest December on record for the globe, with an average temperature 1.44 degrees F above the 20th century average.
"Arctic warmth has been especially pronounced and this will have profound and long-lasting repercussions on sea levels, and on weather patterns in other parts of the world". But NOAA uses slightly different methodology, so it concluded that 2017 was only the third-hottest year on record. Last year, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement.
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