Another Climate Warning: 2014 Declared hottest year on record

Intro

New data released Monday by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) show that 2014 had the hottest global temperatures of any year ever recorded. The findings confirm projections from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and others that showed 2014 on course to take the top spot. Regions across the world felt the impacts of blistering highs on land. Meanwhile, unusually high sea temperatures, together with other factors, contributed to exceptional rainfall and flooding in many regions and extreme drought in others. Over the span of the last year, California fell deeper into its worst drought in 1,200 years, Siberia “defrosted,” and the UK had both its hottest and its fourth wettest year since record keeping began there. Experts attribute the upward march of the world’s average temperature to human-caused global warming, with all of the 10 of the hottest years occurring since 1998.

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RT @HeidiCullen: New data show 2014 was the globe’s hottest year on record: http://bit.ly/1IheP4C #climate

Key Points

  • If carbon emissions continue to rise, global temperatures will soar. Last year’s record temperatures are part of a long-term trend of global warming that is largely due to emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels. If the world doesn’t slash its fossil fuel use and make a wholesale transition to renewable energy, temperatures will hurtle past the critical 2 degrees Celsius threshold in less than 50 years.
  • 2014 was a year of climate fueled anomalies. Abnormally high temperatures in many parts of the world ushered in damaging and destructive weather events last year. Heat waves struck Tunisia, Australia and elsewhere, while droughts crippled agriculture in central Brazil, the western US, and northern China. WMO Secretary-General, Michel Jarraud succinctly summed up the consequences of rising emissions and higher temperatures, saying that “record-breaking heat combined with torrential rainfall and floods destroyed livelihoods and ruined lives” in 2014.

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