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US Agencies Confirm: 2014 Was The Hottest

Jan 16, 2015 12:22 PM EST
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Earlier this month, climatologists from the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) announced that, according to their data, 2014 was definitely the hottest year ever recorded. Now NASA and the NOAA are throwing in their two cents to back that claim, providing new evidence that the world's net temperature has been growing gradually hotter each year, with few exceptions.

According to the JMA, one of the four primary record-keeping organizations that routinely measure, gather, and assess net temperature data from across the globe, the net average temperature between land and water surface temperatures in 2014 was nearly a third of a degree Celsius (+0.27) higher than the 1981-2010 average. It was also the warmest year since 1891, when the most comprehensive global net measurements began.

An independent analysis of raw data conducted by the NOAA and released Friday confirmed this troubling claim.

NASA has also stepped in with new data from the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York to bolster this mounting evidence, looking to ensure that people understand their world is warming, even if the cause remains in dispute.

"NASA is at the forefront of the scientific investigation of the dynamics of the Earth's climate on a global scale," John Grunsfeld, the associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, boasted in a statement. "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." (Scroll to read on...)


[Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center]

GISS Director Gavin Schmidt added that after looking at the evidence, he and his colleagues all came to the same conclusion: understanding the Earth's carbon cycle and how humanity impacts it is crucial to ensuring we are prepared for climate change.

"[2014] is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades. 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," he explained.

The GISS report incorporated 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 JMA and NOAA reports used very similar, if not the same exact data, but all groups tackled their analyses in a different way.

However, the end result was the same, with the world's leading climate experts all concluding that not only was 2014 the hottest year ever seen, but it is simply the latest point in a new trend of rising net temperatures.

"Our world is changing," added Richard Spinrad, NOAA chief scientist. "It's critical that we continue to work with our partners... to observe these changes and to provide the information communities need to build resiliency."

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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