On Friday, NOAA and NASA announced 2014 was the hottest year in modern record – since 1880. The 2000s have been marked by record breaking heat for the most part. Besides 1998, 10 of the warmest years on modern record have occurred since 2000.
“The observed long-term warming trend and the ranking of 2014 as the warmest year on record reinforces the importance for NASA to study Earth as a complete system, and particularly to understand the role and impacts of human activity,” said John Grunsfeld, an associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters.
NASA and NOAA scientists do say they expect to see fluctuations in temperatures in the near-term. El Nino and La Nina are two natural occurrences that can have major impacts on how warm or cool temperatures are. 2014’s record breaking heat came during an El Nino-neutral year.
Below you’ll see how much temperatures rose across the world. Note the cool spot in the eastern half of the U.S. A portion of Antarctica was also dramatically cooler than the rest of the world in 2014. Europe, Asia and the Arctic regions saw the biggest temperature differences.
Scientists cite weather for the varying temperatures on a regional scale. While eastern parts of the U.S. enjoyed a milder 2014, folks out west – especially California, Arizona and Nevada, experienced record heat. As someone living in Alabama, I’ll take any cooler temperatures mother nature throws at me.
Here’s how NOAA and NASA figured out 2014 was the hottest on record. They took measurements from more than 6,300 weather stations, buoys, ships and research stations. An algorithm then chomped on the hard data and spits out the result you see above.
This video shows the five-year global temperature average from 1880 to 2014.
Yep, it’s definitely warmer now than in 1880. Oh, and there’s a few extra billion people around too. I’m sure that has something to do with it.
How was your 2014? Were you one of the lucky ones like me who enjoyed a milder summer? Or, was it a scorcher?