2014 Was Warmest Year on Record
Posted by feww on July 20, 2015
Climate markers continued to show global warming trend: NOAA
The most critical indicators of Earth’s changing climate continued to reflect warming trends in 2014, with several markers including rising land and ocean temperature, sea levels and greenhouse gases setting new records.
A new report compiled by NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate at the National Centers for Environmental Information is said to provide a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments located on land, water, ice, and in space, according to a press release.
The report is based on contributions from 413 scientists from 58 countries.
“This report represents data from around the globe, from hundreds of scientists and gives us a picture of what happened in 2014. The variety of indicators shows us how our climate is changing, not just in temperature but from the depths of the oceans to the outer atmosphere,” said the Director for National Centers for Environmental Information.
Key highlights from the report include:
- Greenhouse gases continued to climb: Major greenhouse gas concentrations, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, continued to rise during 2014, once again reaching historic high values. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased by 1.9 ppm in 2014, reaching a global average of 397.2 ppm for the year. This compares with a global average of 354.0 in 1990 when this report was first published just 25 years ago.
- Record temperatures observed near the Earth’s surface: Four independent global datasets showed that 2014 was the warmest year on record. The warmth was widespread across land areas. Europe experienced its warmest year on record, with more than 20 countries exceeding their previous records. Mexico had its warmest year on record. Eastern North America was the only major region to experience below-average annual temperatures.
- Sea surface temperatures were record high: The globally averaged sea surface temperature was the highest on record. The warmth was particularly notable in the North Pacific Ocean,
- Global upper ocean heat content was record high: Globally, upper ocean heat content reached a record high for the year, reflecting the continuing accumulation of thermal energy in the upper layer of the oceans. Oceans absorb over 90 percent of Earth’s excess heat from greenhouse gas forcing.
- Global sea level was record high: Global average sea level rose to a record high in 2014. This keeps pace with the 3.2 ± 0.4 mm per year trend in sea level growth observed over the past two decades.
- The Arctic continued to warm; sea ice extent remained low: The Arctic experienced its fourth warmest year since records began in the early 20th century. Arctic snow melt occurred 20–30 days earlier than the 1998–2010 average. On the North Slope of Alaska, record high temperatures at 20-meter depth were measured at four of five permafrost observatories. The Arctic minimum sea ice extent reached 1.94 million square miles [5 million km²] on September 17, the sixth lowest since satellite observations began in 1979. The eight lowest minimum sea ice extents during this period have occurred in the last eight years..