2017 on pace to be third hottest year on record

2017 on pace to be third hottest year on record

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - So far, 2017 is the third hottest year on record in the U.S. and the second hottest on record globally...and it's not even an El Niño year which usually gives a little bump in average global temperatures.

This may be further evidence that the observed long-term warming of the globe is the result of buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The U.S. will likely finish 2017 as the third hottest year since the 1890s. If that holds true, then five of the 10 hottest years in the U.S. will have come since 2006. Only two of those 10 hottest years came before 1998, so those five hottest years are each hotter than the hottest of the Dustbowl years, which was in 1934.

Through the end of September, the U.S. is having its warmest consecutive 24, 36, and 48 months on record. This consistent warmth over the past four years has been practically independent of the warming waters of an El Niño. In fact, La Niña years are now warmer than El Niño years from 30 years ago.

But remember, local temperatures don't always reflect global temperatures, so we can and will see pieces of cold air break off from Canada and Alaska and ride south when the northern branch of the jet takes of a dip. There can still be extremes in warmer or colder than average years.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.