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2014 Confirmed Officially as Earth’s Hottest Year: NOAA Report

The State of the Climate in 2014 report compiled by NOAA has confirmed the NASA and NOAA report released earlier stating that the year 2014 was the hottest year on record based on insights collected from 413 scientists from 58 countries around the world.

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The inputs pondered indicators including greenhouse gases, temperatures of ocean and land; cloud cover; sea level; ocean salinity; sea ice extent; and snow cover.

climate change report“This report represents data from around the globe, from hundreds of scientists and gives us a picture of what happened in 2014,” said Thomas R. Karl, director of NOAA National Center for Environmental Information.

The State of the Climate in 2014 is the 25th edition in a peer-reviewed series published annually with the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Key highlights of the report:

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide reached historic high values in 2014. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are up by 1.9 ppm in 2014, reaching a global average of 397.2 ppm for the year, compared to 354.0 in 1990.

Including Europe, more than 20 countries exceeded their previous temperature records. Africa had above-average temperatures, Australia saw its third warmest year on record, Mexico had its warmest year on record, and Argentina and Uruguay each had their second warmest year on record. Eastern North America was the only major region to experience below-average annual temperature.

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation was in a neutral state during 2014, on the cool side of neutral at the beginning of the year but reached warm El Niño conditions by the year end.

Sea surface temperatures were record high, notably in the North Pacific Ocean due to transition of the Pacific decadal oscillation – a recurring pattern of ocean-atmosphere climate variability.

Globally, upper ocean heat, which absorbs over 90 percent of Earth’s excess heat from greenhouse gas, gave rise to sea level on par with the 3.2 ± 0.4 mm per year trend.

For several months, California has been in a state of “exceptional drought.” The state’s usually verdant Central Valley produces one-sixth of the U.S.’s crops. Image Credit:  White House via Wikimedia Commons

For several months, California has been in a state of “exceptional drought.” The state’s usually verdant Central Valley produces one-sixth of the U.S.’s crops.
Image Credit: 
White House via Wikimedia Commons

The Arctic continued to warm; sea ice extent remained low as its 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 on September 17, the sixth lowest since satellite observations began in 1979.

The Antarctic maximum sea ice extent reached a record high of 7.78 million square miles on September 20, which is 220,000 square miles more than the previous record of 7.56 million square miles that occurred in 2013.

With 91 tropical cyclones in 2014, above the 1981–2010 average of 82 storms, 2014 witnessed more disturbances, concluded the report.

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