A colour-coded map showing temperature anomalies in 2014

2014 was hottest year on record two studies confirm

Last year was the hottest since 1880, two separate analysis by American scientists have confirmed.

According to data gathered separately by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Nasa, global temperatures in 2014 have reached the highest levels since measurements had begun.

With multiple areas around the globe experiencing record temperatures over the last year, the global land and sea surface temperature climbed 0.69°C above 20th century averages, "easily breaking" the previous record years of 2005 and 2010, experts from NOAA's National Climatic Data Centre said.

The UK’s Met Office said earlier 2014 was the hottest since measurements began in the UK in 1910. Moreover, 2014 has been the hottest year in Central England where data dates back to 1659.

The announcement fuels concerns about the ongoing global warming and the effectiveness of current measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Earth's average surface temperature has warmed by about 0.8°C since 1998, a trend largely driven by the growing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere, widely attributed to human activity, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) said.

"This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades,” said GISS director Gavin Schmidt.

"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."

Last year saw record temperatures across Europe, parts of northern Africa, as well as sections of eastern and western coast of Australia and the western USA.

Last year was also the 38th year in a row when annual global temperatures were above the long-term average, while nine of the 10 warmest years since 1880 have all occurred in the 21st century.

The latest figures prompted renewed calls for leaders to take action to tackle climate change, ahead of the anticipated United Nations talks in Paris in December where it is hoped a new global deal to tackle climate change will be achieved.

"No politician can afford to ignore this overwhelming scientific evidence or claim that global warming is a hoax,” said Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

"The record temperatures last year should focus the minds of governments across the world on the scale of the risks that climate change is creating, and the urgency of the action that is required, including an international agreement to strongly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to be reached at the United Nations climate change summit in Paris in December 2015."

The global sea surface temperatures soared 0.57°C above the 20th century average. Land surface temperatures were the fourth highest recorded, at 1°C above average, NOAA said.

Six months of 2014 were also record breakers, with a record-warm December finishing off a year which also saw May, June, August, September and October experience new highs.

Recent articles

Info Message

Our sites use cookies to support some functionality, and to collect anonymous user data.

Learn more about IET cookies and how to control them