NOAA, NASA confirm 2014 hottest year on record

Hottest year on record

Land and ocean temperature, Jan-Dec 2014. Source: NOAA

2014 was the hottest year on record across the globe, US climate experts have confirmed.

Analyses from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA shows that last month was the warmest December on record, rounding off a year which saw temperatures records set in September, May, June and August.

Global average temperature over land and sea in 2014 were 0.69C above the 20th century average, according to the data from NOAA.

Today’s announcement follows similar findings from the Japanese Meteorological agency, earlier this month, showing a consensus by two of the world’s three main global weather data centres.

In 2014, seven out of the 12 months tied or topped previous monthly global temperature records.

Ocean temperatures in particular experienced record warmth, with seven consecutive months setting new records for surface ocean heat.

December 2014 also represented the 358th consecutive month where the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was above average.

2014 as a whole was also the 38th consecutive year of above average temperatures.

The year came in at 0.69C above the 20th century average, and and was 0.04C higher than the previous records set in 2005 and 2010, according to the data.

Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies said:

Any one year being a record warm one is not in itself particularly significant, but this is one in a series of record warm years that are driven by the continuing underlying long-term global warming. We expect that heat records will continue to get broken – not everywhere and not every year – but increasingly and that does not bode well for a civilisation that is continuing to add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at an increasing rate.

The latest finding are likely to further spur calls from around the world for leaders to support strong climate action.

In less than a year, leaders from 192 countries will meet in Paris for the UN climate summit, where they are expected to agreement a new global climate agreement which will steer the world away from the critical danger threshold of 2C of warming and towards a low carbon energy future.

With the world’s leading body of scientists warning we could cross that threshold within just 30 years without drastic cuts to emissions, this latest study adds further weight to the calls from NGOs and governments for a complete phase out of carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

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