Scientist from NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) completed two separate analyses of climate data and have concluded that 2014 was in fact the warmest year on the planet since 1880.
What’s more, the data points out that the 10 warmest years, since detailed record keeping began using instruments, have occurred in the last 15 years. The only exception to this being in 1998.
In this video below, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York depict a time series of five-year global temperature averages, mapped from 1880 to 2014.
“NASA is at the forefront of the scientific investigation of the dynamics of the Earth’s climate on a global scale,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
“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.”
According to the data, since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades.
“This 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,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt.