NASA Finds 2014 Was Warmest Year in Modern Record
The year 2014 ranks as Earth’s warmest since 1880, according to an analysis by NASA scientists.
The 10 warmest years in the instrumental record, with the exception of 1998, have now occurred since 2000. This trend continues a long-term warming of the planet, according to an analysis of surface temperature measurements by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
In an independent analysis of the raw data, NOAA scientists also found 2014 to be the warmest on record.
For understanding climate change, the long-term trend of rising temperatures across the planet is more important than any year’s individual ranking. These rankings can be sensitive to analysis methods and sampling. While 2014 ranks as the warmest year in NASA’s global temperature record, it is statistically close to the values from 2010 and 2005, the next warmest years.
Since 1880, the average surface temperature of Earth has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades.
Regional differences in temperature in any year are more strongly affected by weather dynamics than the global mean. For example, in the U.S. in 2014, parts of the Midwest and East Coast were anomalously cool, while Alaska and three western U.S. states – California, Arizona and Nevada – recorded their warmest years on record, according to NOAA, which assesses official U.S. temperature records.
The GISTEMP analysis website is located at: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/