State of Climate in 2017 - Extreme weather and high impacts

The high impact of extreme weather on economic development, food security, health and migration was highlighted in the WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2017. Compiled by the World Meteorological Organization with input from national meteorological services and United Nations partners, the report provides detailed information to support the international agenda on disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change.

Climate Risks 2017

The State of Climate Report confirmed that 2017 was one of the three warmes years on record and the warmest not influenced by en El Niño event. It is also examined other long-term indicators of of climate change such as increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level rise, shrinking sea ice, ocean heat and ocean acidification.

Socio-economic impacts

  • A total of 320 USD disaster losses from weather and climate-related events has been assessed in 2017, the largest annual total on record (after adjustment for inflation).
  • Fuelled by warm sea surface temperatures, the North Atlantic hurricane season was the costliest ever.
  • The overall risk of heat-related illness or death has climbed steadily since 1980, with around 30% of the world’s population now living in climatic conditions that deliver potentially deadly temperatures at least 20 days a year
  • In 2016, weather-related disasters displaced 23.5 million people.
  • Massive internal displacement in the context of drought and food insecurity continues across Somalia. From November 2016 to December 2017, 892 000 drought-related displacements were recorded
  • Floods affected the agricultural sector, especially in Asian countries.

The Oceans

  • Global sea surface temperatures in 2017 were somewhat below the levels of 2015 and 2016, but still ranked as the third warmest on record.
  • The magnitude of almost all of individual components of sea level rise has increased in recent years
  • For the second successive year, above-average sea surface temperatures off the east coast of Australia resulted in significant coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Over the past 10 years, various studies have confirmed that ocean acidification is directly influencing the health or coral reefs, the success, quality and taste of aquaculture raised fish and seafood, and the survival and calcification of several key organisms.


  • Sea ice extent was well below the 1981–2010 average throughout 2017 in both the Arctic and Antarctic
  • The Greenland ice sheet mass balance change from September to December 2017 was close to average. Despite the gain in overall ice mass this year, it is only a small departure from the trend over the past two decades, with the Greenland ice sheet having lost approximately 3 600 billion tons of ice mass since 2002.
State of Climate in 2017


  • Sender
    World Meteorological Organization (WMO)