2014 hottest year on record, say US scientists

“This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades," said one NASA scientist

2014 hottest year on record, say US scientists
Last year was the hottest ever since record keeping began in 1880, U.S. government scientists said Friday.

Climate experts from NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, calculated that the 10 hottest years on record, with the exception of 1998, have occurred in the 21st century, continuing a long-term warming of the planet.

“This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades," said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "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."

Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) since 1880, the NASA report said.

It also said the trend has largely been driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the atmosphere. 

In a separate report, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center said the December combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was also the highest on record, sealing "the deal to make 2014 the warmest year."

The average temperature for the year was 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit (0.69 degrees Celsius), surpassing the previous record warmth in 2010 and 2005 by 0.07 Fahrenheit (0.04°C), according to the report.

“What’s surprising is that anyone is surprised that 2014 was the hottest year on record,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

America’s top diplomat said that increased occurrences of extreme weather events such as torrential rains, droughts and storms “are having devastating economic, security and health impacts across the planet.”

“The question isn’t the warning signs. The question is when and how the world will respond. Ambitious, concrete action is the only path forward that leads anywhere worth going,” he said. 

Anadolu Agency
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