After hottest year, are milder days ahead?

A NASA graphic shows how much hotter temperatures were in the 2012-2016 time frame, compared with the 20th-century average. (NASA Graphic)

A NASA graphic shows how much hotter temperatures were in the 2012-2016 time frame, compared with the 20th-century average. (NASA Graphic)

Today’s outlook for climate trends is a good-news, bad-news situation for the Pacific Northwest.

First, the bad news: NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say 2016 ranked as the hottest year on record in terms of global mean temperatures.

NOAA said the year’s average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 58.69 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.69 degrees F above the 20th-century average and 0.07 degrees F above the previous record, set in 2015.

NASA used a slightly different set of figures, including more readings from the Arctic, to determine that last year’s global average was 1.78 degrees above the 20th-century average and 0.22 degrees above 2015. By either measure, the average is the highest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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