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Year 2014 ranked as Earth's hottest year since 1880

Jan 17, 2015 17:58 IST

Year 2014 rankedThe year 2014 was ranked as the Earth’s hottest year since 1880 as per the two separate analyses done by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientists and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists. The findings of NASA and NOAA were released on 16 January 2015.

Both NASA and NOAA conducted independent analyses based on satellite and ground readings, but they arrived at similar conclusions.

The global average temperature for 2014 was roughly 1.24°F (or 0.69°C) warmer than the 20th-century average that included record heat in the western United States, Europe, Australia, and much of the Pacific Ocean.
 
Rankings of 10 warmest years
1. 2014
2. 2010
3. 2005
4. 2007
5. 1998
6. 2002
7. 2013
8. 2009
9. 2003
10. 2006

Findings
As per GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP), since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), which was caused by the increase in carbon dioxide into the planet’s atmosphere.

The 2014 temperatures were the warmest ones, but scientists still expect to see year-to-year fluctuations in average global temperature caused by phenomena such as El Nino or La Nina.

The phenomena El Nino and La Nina in the Pacific Ocean played an important role in the flattening of the long-term warming trend over the past 15 years. Moreover, 2014’s record warmth occurred during an El Nino-neutral year.

Regional differences in temperature are more strongly affected by weather dynamics than the global mean temperature.

Study Process
The scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York mapped the five-year global temperature averages from 1880 to 2014.

The GISS analysis incorporated surface temperature measurements from 6300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations.

This raw data was analyzed using an algorithm that measures the varied spacing of temperature stations around the globe. The result is an estimate of the global average temperature difference from a baseline period of 1951 to 1980.

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