Europe’s Copernicus Programme has announced that 2017 was the world’s second hottest year on record, coming in at only 0.1ºC cooler than 2016’s El Niño-influenced record at 1.2ºC (2.2ºF) above pre-industrial levels, with 2017 actually being the hottest year on record for a year that was "not influenced by warming El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific," according to their report. On top of this, 2017’s temperature record occurred "despite cooling La Niña conditions both early and late in the year over the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean."

Deteriorating climate conditions in 2017 contributed to a further decrease in surface ice in the Arctic; droughts extended across Africa, including a new one being suffered by Somalia; wildfires raged across western North America, including widespread fires in Southern California and Canada’s provinces of Alberta and British Columbia; and a devastating hurricane season in the North Atlantic that saw a string of record-breaking storms hit the Caribbean and US states along the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that the financial cost of weather and climate-related disasters in 2017 came to a record-breaking $306 billion for the United States alone, with the country seeing its third hottest year on record.

"Natural disasters have caused a record-setting amount of damage in the U.S. this year," according to Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, tweeting in response to NOAA’s report. "There’s no denying that climate change will cost the U.S. trillions more in the next decade and that we have a financial and national security reason to act." 

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