Climate action groups urged action and pointed to the Trump administration's blatant disregard for human activity's impact on the planet, as two government agencies announced Thursday that 2017 was among the hottest year on record.
NASA's data revealed that the year was the second-warmest year since scientists began compiling such data, while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that it was the third-warmest.
NOAA reporting 2017 was 3rd warmest year in recorded history. Coastal communities are already being impacted by rising sea levels. Instead of retreating from global leadership, the U.S. should be at the forefront of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. https://t.co/Nn2FTXKGoI— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) January 18, 2018
"The latest reports from NASA and NOAA show that not only was 2017 one of the warmest years on record, but 17 of the 18 hottest years since preindustrial times have occurred since 2001," said Rachel Licker of the Union of Concerned Scientists, "It's startling to know there are individuals on the brink of adulthood who have spent their entire lives in a climate that, largely due to human activity, is vastly different from the one their parents experienced growing up."
Both agencies' findings support scientists' claim that the past four years have been the hottest four on record.
But NOAA's and NASA's studies were released after a year of anti-environment policies promoted by President Donald Trump, who along with many of his appointees and allies, has frequently denied that climate crisis exists or is driven by human activity.
In 2017, as scientists observed wildfires throughout California; an Atlantic hurricane season that saw three major storms sweep through the Caribbean and the southern U.S., killing an untold number of people and causing hundreds of billions of dollars in damage; and the extent of sea ice at both the North and South Poles reaching a record low due to melting after a warm 2017 winter—the Trump administration moved quickly to dismantle previous efforts to combat global warming.
"We're now seeing global temperature records smashed year after year, with the last three years being the warmest ever recorded. This terrifying trend brings us more unpredictable and extreme weather events," said Caroline Rance, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland. "Globally 2017 saw an alarming number of wildfires, floods, hurricanes and droughts around the world, which had devastating consequences for millions of people."
After NOAA and NASA released their data, politicians and Trump critics on social media denounced the president for his refusal to work with other world leaders to combat climate change.
Today, @NASA ranked 2017 as the second-warmest year, after 2016. Yesterday's unprecedented mass-resignation was the result of Trump ignoring science and undermining environmental protections. Climate change is REAL and happening NOW. https://t.co/fmwE81z7Ki— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) January 18, 2018
And still #Trump denies #GlobalWarming: "a record-setting year of $306bn of #weather and #climate-related disaster costs in the United States, with 2017 the third warmest year on record, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration https://t.co/zyet40zgGN— Simon Worrall (@simonworrall) January 10, 2018
During east coast cold snap, Trump says "we could use a little bit" of global warming, poking fun at climate science. 2017 is on track to be the third-warmest year on record. https://t.co/oXmqqBNuow— WBAL NewsRadio 1090 (@wbalradio) December 29, 2017