[Slate] Last year, 2014, was the globe’s hottest year ever recorded by thermometers, and likely the hottest in the history of human civilization.This week’s data come from Japan’s Meteorological Agency, one of the four primary record-keeping organizations that routinely plot the now familiar upward bend in Earth’s surface temperature.
The new record amounts to yet another warning sign on the civilizational superhighway toward a worst-case climate scenario. Greenhouse gas emissions also hit a worldwide high in 2014, meaning global warming continues to accelerate, not ease. Projections suggest that global carbon emissions will hit another high in 2015, thanks to continued economic growth and a recent dip in oil prices.
Last year Europe, the Arctic, Africa, Australia, South America, the Caribbean, western North America, and East Asia experienced warmer-than-average temperatures, while colder-than-normal areas were limited to Central Asia and the Eastern United States, according to the JMA. Data from other agencies showed global oceans contributed the most to the new heat record, breaking the all-time temperature mark despite the lack of an official El Niño—a periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that in the past has been linked to global temperature records. [See YouTube below.] Read More