Home > climate change > 2014: Hottest year in Earth’s recorded history

2014: Hottest year in Earth’s recorded history

The century is only 14 years old, but the record for hottest year in recorded history has just been broken for the third time.

Scientists at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and NASA announced last week that, during 2014, the worldwide combined average air and sea temperature exceeded the average since 1880 by 0.69 degrees Celsius.

The two agencies’ reports confirm a similar conclusion announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency earlier in January.

This graphic shows worldwide temperature anomalies during 2014. Courtesy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

This graphic shows worldwide temperature anomalies during 2014. Courtesy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

An analysis of the new data by climatologist James Hansen of Columbia University and others concludes that the ten hottest years in the planet’s recorded climate history have occurred since 2000 and that the 15 hottest have occurred since 1998.

“This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades,” Dr. Gavin A. Schmidt, a climatologist and the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, said in a statement. “While the ranking of individual years can be affected by chaotic weather patterns, the long-term trends are attributable to drivers of climate change that right now are dominated by human emissions of greenhouse gases.”

Overall, Earth’s average surface temperature has risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius since meteorological records were first kept 135 years ago.

This graph shows the annual mean surface temperature on Earth during every year since 1880. Courtesy NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

This graph shows the annual mean surface temperature on Earth during every year since 1880. Courtesy NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Not all regions of the planet experienced the same degree of warmth last year. In the United States, for example, certain areas of the Midwest and along the East coast were cooler than average. But those cooler temperatures were outweighed by the broader swaths of the world that experienced hotter-than-normal temperatures.

Four U.S. states – Alaska, Arizona, California, and Nevada – experienced their warmest years in recorded history.

Individually, the global mean land temperature during 2014 was the fourth-highest on record. However, the 0.55 degree Celsius leap above the mean experienced by the seas drove the overall mean surface temperature to the all-time record. The extent to which sea temperatures exceeded the historic mean was unprecedented.

These graphs show the deviation from the norm of land and sea surface temperatures during 2014. Courtesy National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

These graphs show the deviation from the norm of land and sea surface temperatures during 2014. Courtesy National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Emissions of carbon dioxide, a leading contributor to the warming of Earth’s climate, continue to rise. Data released earlier this month by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego indicates that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million on Jan. 1, Jan. 3, and Jan. 7.

The first time it happened was in 2013, but the threshold was not crossed until May 2013. In 2014, the monthly average concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 400 ppm in March, April, and June.

The current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is higher than it has been in at least 800,000 years.

Advertisements
Categories: climate change Tags: , ,
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

coastal traveler

Trust, Faith and Change

Lewis Editorial

Bringing stories to life

Grey World Nomads

Around The World At A Slow Pace

The 70 at 70 Challenge

And so, I turned 70, and a new decade beckons....

The Last Ocean

Protecting the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

eoearthlive

Encyclopedia of Earth on WordPress

Evolutionary Biology

No foresight, no way back

Why? Because Science.

Combating Stupidity Since 2012

Empirical SCOTUS

Viewing the Supreme Court in an entirely new light

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

%d bloggers like this: