If the massive droughts and wildfires this past summer weren’t indications enough, new data out of Japan indicates that 2014 was the hottest year on record for planet Earth. According to Discovery News, the ranking was issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), which is one of four major global keepers of temperature records for the planet–and the first to release its data for the year just gone by. The average temperature in 2014 was 1.1 degrees F above JMA’s average for the 20th Century, and 0.1 degrees above 1998; the former record holder for the hottest year ever.
Discovery News also reports that the world’s average temperatures have been steadily climbing since 1891. That’s just about 50 years after the Industrial Revolution, when humans shifted from primarily using biofuels to burning coal and other fossil fuels for energy. And it looks like things have been heating up particularly quickly in the last couple of decades, as all 10 of the hottest years on record have happened since 1998.
What makes the heat of 2014 so significant is that it wasn’t coupled with an El Nino, as was the case in 1998 when a “super El Nino” caused a temperature spike on its tail end. The record heat of 2014 was instead caused by record temperatures in some parts of the Pacific, and was the hottest year on record in places like Europe, Australia, and California.
JMA’s numbers are generally in agreement with the other climate-monitoring groups: NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S., and the Hadley Centre in the U.K.—all of which are expected to release their 2014 data in the next few weeks.
Via Discovery News