2015 was hottest on record globally

Last year’s global average temperature was the hottest ever by the widest margin on record, two US government agencies say, adding to pressure for deep greenhouse gas emissions cuts scientists say are needed to arrest global warming.

Data from US space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that in 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.90 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average, surpassing 2014’s previous record by 0.16 C.

This was the fourth time a global temperature record has been set this century, the agencies said in a summary of their annual report on Wednesday.

‘2015 was remarkable even in the context of the larger, long-term warming trend,’ said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The sharp increase in 2015 was driven in part by El Nino, a natural weather cycle in the Pacific that warms the ocean surface every two to seven years.

But scientists say human activities – notably burning fossil fuels – were the main driver behind the rise.

‘We would not have seen the record warming without the long-term trend,’ Schmidt said.

The latest El Nino started in late 2015 and will last until spring 2016.

It is among the strongest ever recorded but Schmidt and others say the weather phenomenon played just a supporting role in the earth’s temperature rise.

The 2015 data underscores the urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions if the world is to hold temperature increases to well below 2 degrees C, the target agreed to by more than 190 countries at climate talks in Paris last December.

Schmidt said the fact that the world is now halfway to the UN goal has led many scientists to argue that even that target is too high and more stringent goals are needed.


2 responses to “2015 was hottest on record globally”

  1. Julian says:

    The hottest year “on record globally” turns out to be, well actually, the hottest since 1880….

    So, this report literally untrue.

  2. anton says:

    They always wait until its a hot day before they bring out news like this , I wonder why?

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