Even without the help of El Niño, 2017 was a top-three scorcher for planet Earth.
Global temperatures last year were the third-highest since scientists began keeping records in 1880, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Measurements from NASA placed it even higher, coming in second over the last 138 years.
Both agencies said the average global surface temperature in 2017 was only slightly below the record-high temperature seen in 2016.
Two years ago, the average temperature across land and ocean surfaces jumped