2014: Hottest year ever. Photo byNASA's Goddard Space Flight Center I’m not a huge fan of “hottest year” type statistics, as I’ll get to in a moment, but this one is important for two reasons: One is that there was no El Niño last year, which tends to drive global temperatures up. (Many record years were ones that had El Niños.) 2014 broke the record without any help. The other is that, according to the NOAA and JMA, 2014 was statistically significant. Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies! Let’s say you flip a coin 10 times, and it comes up heads six times. 2014 was like that. Even then, I cast something of a skeptical eye when an individual record is broken. So that’s when you bring in the most important issue here: context. That’s the important issue here: Not that any one year is the hottest, but that they’re all clustered in the past few years. Graph by the Japan Meteorological Agency It’s getting hotter.
Summary Information The State of the Climate Summary Information is a synopsis of the collection of national and global summaries released each month. 2014 Earth's warmest year on record; December 2014 record warm; Global oceans also record warm for 2014 The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2014 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880. The December combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was also the highest on record. Global highlights: Calendar Year 2014 For extended analysis of global climate patterns, please see our full Annual report During 2014, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.24°F (0.69°C) above the 20th century average. Global highlights: December 2014 During December, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.39°F (0.77°C) above the 20th century average.
U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory National Ice Core Lab Stores Valuable Ancient Ice It's a freezing cold day inside the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) in Denver, Colo., as it is every day of the year. That's because the NICL is a facility for storing and studying ice cores recovered from the polar regions of the world. CO2 in the Ice Core Record Studying ice cores at the National Ice Core Lab, Dr. Credit: EARTH: The Operators' Manual (Segment 5) NICL Core Processing Line This excellent short video, filmed during the 2010 WAIS Divide core processing line (CPL), provides a good summary of how many CPLs are carried out at the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL). The video was filmed and produced by Logan Mitchell at Oregon State University. Ice Core Secrets Could Reveal Answers to Global Warming At the Stable Isotope Lab in Boulder, Colo., scientists are doing a lot of the same things that those CSI folks do on TV. The ice cores come from Greenland and Antarctica. Ancient Volcano Flows Climate Clues Denali Ice