Last year was the fourth hottest year on record, according to the latest compilation of global average temperature data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The National Climatic Data Center of NOAA reports that 2013 ties with 2003 as the fourth warmest year since records began in 1880.
This makes 2013 the 37th consecutive year (since 1976) that the yearly global temperature was above the 20th century average, adding to the growing weight of the reality of climate change.
Professor Dave Griggs, CEO of ClimateWorks Australia and Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute, said in response to the NOAA announcement:
The global temperature figures are out and it feels like groundhog day talking about what a hot year it has been, the 37th consecutive year with temperatures above the 20th century average.
Additionally, NOAA’s analysis compiled a worldwide review of the extreme weather events that marked 2013, including extreme heat across the Northern Hemisphere and Australia; severe flooding in Canada, Europe, China, Russia, and Brazil; shrinking Arctic ice; and the record-breaking Typhoon Haiyan.
Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe is professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University, Queensland and President of the Australian Conservation Foundation said:
The NOAA report confirms at a global scale what we know from Australian Bureau of Meteorology data released recently: the world is getting steadily warmer. While some media outlets are repeating the myth spread by deniers that there has been a pause in warming, the NOAA data confirm that the trend of global warming is continuing. It also confirms that we are seeing more extremes of weather, as the science has been warning us to expect for 25 years. This is further evidence that our governments need to pay attention to the science rather than uninformed self-appointed critics, and take concerted action, both to reduce our domestic production of greenhouse gases and to halt the disastrous proposals to expand fossil fuel exports.