Global surface temperatures last year were tied with 2003 as the fourth-warmest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Tuesday.
Nine of the 10 warmest years since records began in 1880 have occurred this century, according to NOAA.
The latest annual data arrives as the Obama administration is crafting new rules to curb carbon emissions from power plants and liberal Senate Democrats are trying to play political offense on climate change.
According to NOAA’s data, 2010 was the warmest year on record globally, followed by 2005 and 1998.
NASA, which provides rankings based on slightly different calculations, said Tuesday that 2013 was tied with 2009 and 2006 as the seventh-warmest on record (check out these slides for more on that).
The trend, a top NASA scientist said, is unmistakable.
“Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change,” said climatologist Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Global-warming skeptics have seized on the relative lack of surface warming since 1998 when battling federal regulations, and challenging the overwhelming majority of scientists who say human-induced climate change is a reality.
But NASA, echoing a 2013 report by the World Meteorological Organization, noted the decade-over-decade averages continue to show warming.
“Each successive year will not necessarily be warmer than the year before, but with the current level of greenhouse gas emissions, scientists expect each successive decade to be warmer than the previous,” NASA said in a statement alongside its latest data.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."