Scientists report record-shattering global warm temperatures in 2015.
NASA and NOAA scientists report Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, continuing a long-term warming trend. Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the late-19th century, a change largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. NASA’s analyses incorporate surface temperature measurements from 6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations. The global average temperature difference is determined by comparison to a baseline period of 1951 to 1980. Watch the video to see how global temperatures have changed from 1880 through 2015.