16 January 2015

Earth Sees Hottest Year on Record for 3rd Time This Century

Posted by Dan Satterfield

The Eastern U.S. was a real outlier in global temps.

The Eastern U.S. was a real outlier in global temps.

Update 5:30 PM 16 Jan.
This is an excellent info-graphic from Gavin Schmidt of NASA GISS.

Ctsy Dr. Gavin Schmidt NASA

Ctsy Dr. Gavin Schmidt NASA

13 of the 15 hottest years on record were in the last 15 years. The odds of this happening naturally are less than in 1 in 27 million based on an analysis by Climate Central. Andy Freedman at Mashable has a good piece on this as well today here.

This is the third time in the 21st Century that the Earth has recorded it’s hottest year on record. More from NOAA Here:

Global Temperatures

A record warm December sealed the deal to make 2014 the warmest year across the world’s land and ocean surfaces since recordkeeping began in 1880. The average temperature for the year was0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F), beating the previous record warmth of 2010 and 2005 by 0.04°C (0.07°F).

This marks the third time in the 21st century a new record high annual temperature has been set or tied and also marks the 38th consecutive year (since 1977) that the annual temperature has been above the long-term average. To date, including 2014, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occured during the 21st century. 1998 currently ranks as the fourth warmest year on record.

This is the first time since 1990 the high temperature record was broken in the absence of El Niño conditions at any time during the year in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, as indicated by NOAA’s CPC Oceanic Niño Index. This phenomenon generally tends to increase global temperatures around the globe, yet conditions remained neutral in this region during the entire year and the globe reached record warmth despite this.

Six months of 2014 (May, June, August, September, October, and December) were record warm, while April was second warmest, January, March, and July were fourth warmest for their respective months, and November was seventh warmest.

Overall, the global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.06°C (0.11°F) per decade since 1880 and at an average rate of 0.16°C (0.28°F) per decade since 1970.

Top 10 Warmest Years (1880–2014)

The following table lists the global combined land and ocean annually-averaged temperature rank and anomaly for each of the 10 warmest years on record.

1 2014 0.69 1.24
2 (tie) 2010 0.65 1.17
2 (tie) 2005 0.65 1.17
4 1998 0.63 1.13
5 (tie) 2013 0.62 1.12
5 (tie) 2003 0.62 1.12
7 2002 0.61 1.10
8 2006 0.60 1.08
9 (tie) 2009 0.59 1.06
9 (tie) 2007 0.59 1.06