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Global temperature 1997

1997 saw the record for the highest annual global temperature value since 1856 broken once again. 1997 marks the third time the record has been broken during the 1990s. Nine of the ten warmest years since the mid-19th century have occurred since 1980.

Global surface air temperature, annual values as departures from the 1961-90 mean and filtered curve.

According to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual statement on global climate, temperatures in the tropics were the second highest on record during 1997. The warming trend that has characterized recent decades has also been marked over lower latitudes.

Over middle latitudes, temperatures were above normal over central and western Russia, western Europe, and Alaska and the west coasts of the Americas. The eastern two-thirds of North America, the Middle East, northern India and large parts of Australia were colder than normal.

Superimposed on the longer-term trend, the El Niño Southern Oscillation event which began during 1997 was a major factor in pushing the annual temperature above the previous record set in 1995. As David Parker of the Hadley Centre, Bracknell, United Kingdom, observed, “El Niño affects temperature, and weather in general, in many parts of the world.”

On the Web

Global Temperatures by Phil Jones

Global temperature data

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