Pass the ice: 2014 hottest year on record

World Today

Tim Samoff / flickr / creative commons

U.S. government science officials said that 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded, marking the third time in a decade the globe sizzled past previous ‘hottest year on record’ statistics.

Across land and ocean surfaces, NASA said 2014 averaged 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit (0.69 Celsius) above the 20th century average.

Data: NASA

This comes on the heels of a record hot December, where average combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest in the 135 years since global temperature records were first recorded. December was 0.77 degrees Celsius (1.39 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average of 12.2 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit).

Nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern record have occurred since 2000, according to NASA, with record-breaking years occurring in 2005, 2010, and 2014.

“This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades,” NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt said in a release. “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.”

Satellites capture the Arctic’s increasing absorption of the sun’s energy

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Image credits: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio/Lori Perkins

Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA calculated that 2014 was the hottest year on record. Earlier, the Japanese weather agency and an independent group from the University of California Berkeley also measured 2014 as the hottest on record.

The China Meteorological Administration said the country will face rising temperatures and more extreme weather conditions, including large-scale drought and flooding, and the continued rise of sea levels due to climate change.

“Total water resources will likely be reduced by 5 percent, China’s food security risk index will first fall and then rise, and security issues for water, ecosystems, food and energy will be further intertwined,” they wrote in a statement.

Climate change “knows no boundary,” Richard W. Spinrad, chief scientist with NOAA in Washington, said during a conference call with reporters Friday.