Geneva — The last three years were the hottest on record, the United Nations weather agency said on Thursday, citing fresh global data that underscores the dramatic warming of the planet. Consolidated data from five leading international weather agencies showed that "2015, 2016 and 2017 have been confirmed as the three warmest years on record", the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said. It said 2016 remained the hottest year yet measured, due to the warming effect of El Nino, while 2017 was the warmest non-El Nino year — beating 2015 by less than one hundredth of a degree. "The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one," WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas said. The 21st century has so far been a period of the hottest weather, accounting for 17 of the 18 warmest years on record. "And the degree of warming during the past three years has been exceptional," Taalas said. The WMO also highlighted the i...

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