Yes, it’s official now that 2015 was globally the warmest year. NASA and NOAA confirmed the combination of global warming and a powerful El Niño made 2015 hottest since records began in 1880.
Last year’s globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces was the highest among all years so far. The average global temperature was estimated to be 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th-century average, said a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The year 2015 surpassed 2014’s record by 0.29°F (0.16°C). This is by far the greatest margin which the annual global temperature record has been broken so far. In previous years when we saw records being set, the gap remained significantly smaller than what we witnessed this time around.
The global land and ocean average surface temperature in December 2015 was the highest for any month ever, in last 136 years. The United States witnessed the second hottest year on record in 2015. In fact, the warmth was evenly spread throughout the globe, with some exceptions like in the North Atlantic.
The UK Met Department in its global forecast had earlier predicted that 2016 is likely to be the hottest year ever recorded. The report also said that the period of 2011-2015 has been the hottest five year period.
The oceanic-atmospheric phenomenon El Niño, which is characterized by above-normal water temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, will contribute significantly to this warming of the global mean temperature. It is true that El Niño assisted the rise in global mean temperatures but even in its absence 2015 would be the hottest year ever.
The US space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) monitors the global climatic changes using a fleet of satellites and weather stations. NASA has said that the temperature changes have been majorly driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-released emissions.
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