February 2017 Second Hottest Since 1880

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Climate change - Sputnik International
February 2017 was the second-warmest in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to NASA scientists. The revelation comes just days after the US refused to confirm whether it intends to honor the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

February 2017 was the second hottest February since 1880, second only to February 2016, NASA scientists, based in the US, have revealed.

Last month was 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean February temperature from 1951-1980, researchers said.

The news comes as the US's position on climate change is being scrutinized across the world.

The 2015 Paris Climate Accord remains the principle framework around which most countries are co-operating to try and slow down global warming.

It was signed by nearly 200 nations, including the top global polluters: China, the US, and India.

The US ratified the landmark agreement in September 2016, under President Barack Obama. However, roll on one month, and the US found itself with a new Commander in Chief: and one keen on challenging the status-quo.

The position of the US on the Paris Climate Accord, and the whole wider battle against global warming has now been thrown into question.

Indeed, President Trump has previously dismissed climate change as "a hoax" perpetrated "by the Chinese."

And Trump's pick for head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scott Pruitt, has recently come under fire for saying he doesn't believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.

That's despite ample evidence to the contrary, including on the EPA's own website, backed up by NASA, which calls CO2 "the most important long-lived 'forcing' of climate change."

The American Meteorological Society wrote a letter to Pruitt strongly critiquing the remarks.

"The world's 7 billion people are causing climate to change and our emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are the primary cause," wrote the group's executive director, Keith Seitter.

"This is a conclusion based on the comprehensive assessment of scientific evidence."

Yet US media is reporting that President Trump is consulting with American energy companies on the Paris Climate Accord.

The possibility of the Trump administration reneging on the US climate change commitments has dismayed many meteorologists.

Such a decision would also massively weaken the ability of the remaining signatories to the meet the goals set out in the agreement, as the US remains the world's second largest polluter, behind China.

On March 2, the UN's Climate Chief requested to meet the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to discuss the US's intentions towards the Paris Accord.

Speaking in Chicago, Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said:

"I have not heard back. It is understandable at the beginning of an administration…They are a very important partner to us, and I'm looking forward to working together.''

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) team based their analysis on data acquired from around 6,300 meteorological stations across the world measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.

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