However, even taking this into account, NASA estimates 2016 was the warmest year "with greater than 95% certainty". For the USA, 2016 was the second warmest year on record. These latest weather statistics are shared among several United States and United Kingdom agencies and worldwide weather groups, even if they differ in precise figures.
Land and ocean global temperatures in 2013 from both NASA and NOAA.
Since the start of the 21st century, the annual global temperature record has been broken five times, including a year ago.
In a powerful testament to the warming of the planet, two leading USA science agencies Wednesday jointly declared 2016 the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set just last year - which itself topped a record set in 2014.
The figures are based on ground-level temperatures.
"This is clearly a record", he said. NASA's new timelapse video allows us to do just that, and it's the most terrifying 20 seconds you're likely to see today.
The year 2014 was remarkable to climate scientists because it was the warmest year on record. California, a state that has experienced record drought over the past few years, has already seen a lot of rainfall, while other areas around the USA have cooled compared to a year ago. This was the highest among all years in the 1880-2016 record, surpassing the previous record of 2015 by 0.18°F (0.10°C).
The year 2016 can be summed up in one word: Warm.
This means 16 of the 17 hottest years have all occurred during this century, with 1998 the only outlier. We have also broken sea ice minimum records in the Arctic and Antarctic.
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To be perfectly honest, some of the warming was caused by phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña, which warm or cool the upper tropical Pacific Ocean and can alter global weather patterns - but they merely exacerbate the heating we are causing ourselves.
El Nino changes things, but enough to derail the trend.
El Nino disappeared last June.
I predict that 2017 will not be as warm as 2016 or 2015, but I still think that there is a good chance that it will still rank in the top 7. You've heard the story - the polar ice caps will melt, seas will rise, and New York City, among numerous world's great cities, will sink under water.
According to reports, the two USA agencies' findings were found to agree with those of other worldwide agencies, such as the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, which found that the earth's average surface temperature was 58.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Still, the fact that a temperature record has been set for a third consecutive year has scientists anxious.
Meanwhile, NASA found that the earth's average surface temperature in 2016 increased approximately 2.0 degrees since the late 19th century.
It illustrates that climate change has accelerated in recent decades, with the current decade ranking as the warmest so far, though that could change if there are several unusually cold years from now through 2020. "Warming (is) almost everywhere. Arctic sea ice was the lowest on record both at the start of the melt season in March and at the height of the normal refreezing period in October and November", he explained.