Washington, 17 Jan (Prensa Latina) 2014 was the hottest year in 135 years of record-keeping, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA announced today.
The year’s average combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 58.24 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NOAA.
This is 1.24 F above the 20th-century average. Global average land temperatures were 1.80 F above average, while ocean surface temperatures were 1.03 F above average, the agency said.
Land temperatures alone were only the fourth-warmest on record, but ocean temperatures were the warmest, which helped to make 2014 the warmest year overall.
NOAA and NASA record temperature observations independently, but both agencies confirmed 2014 to be a record-breaking year. NASA reported 2014â�Ös average temperature to be 58.42 F, which the agency reported was 1.22 F above a 1951-1980 average.
The 10 warmest years on record have all been after 1998, and 2014 marked the 38th straight year with global average temperatures above the 20th-century average.
Six months in 2014 also set monthly global heat records: May, June, August, September, October and December of last year were all the warmest such months on record.
The new global record is also notable because 2014 was not an El Niño year. The weather phenomenon is marked by warmer-than-average surface ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific and leads to above average near-surface air temperatures and other impacts across the globe. El Niño has been observed during previous record-warm years like 1998, 2005 and 2010.
Along with rising temperatures, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to increase. Carbon dioxide concentrations surpassed 400 parts per million in May 2013, for the first time in at least 800,000 years.
CO2 concentrations rise and fall slightly in an annual cycle, but remained above 400 parts per million for several months in 2014 and have already surpassed 400 again in January 2015.
The last time carbon dioxide levels were this high, temperatures were up to 11 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today, and sea levels were dozens of feet higher.
The 400 parts per million milestone is somewhat symbolic, but it serves as a reminder that the massive consumption of fossil fuels continues to remake the chemistry of our atmosphere and trap more and more heat from the sun.