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Will 2018 be the warmest year on record?

Ice cream melts faster than it used to.

In 2016, the average global temperature, according to the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Sciences (GISS) data analysis, was the warmest on record, besting the previous mark which was set in 2015. Earth has something of a streak going -- the last three years have all been global temperature record setters.

There is unambiguous evidence that climate change, driven by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration (as well as other greenhouse gases), is responsible for the relentless upward trend. Nonetheless, stochastic variations do lend a short-term veneer of unpredictability to near-term measurements.

A recently closed Metaculus question that asked whether 2017 will break the global heat record was quite popular -- 327 predictions were registered, with the community of predictors ascribing a median 46% chance of going over the top. Given the interest, it seems reasonable to roll the question out for the coming year:

Will 2018 again set a new record? Or will it fall off the recent record-setting pace?

This will resolve in the positive if the NASA GISS global average temperature for 2018 is published above that of any prior year for which records exist. As a practical matter, this will be either 2016 or (possibly) 2017.

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Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

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Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.