No surprise, 2015 sets new global temperature record
NOAA scientists confirmed today that 2015 set a new record for warmest average surface temperature on planet Earth. According to the press release:
During 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62°F (0.90°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all years in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.29°F (0.16°C). This is also the largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken. Ten months had record high temperatures for their respective months during the year. The five highest monthly departures from average for any month on record all occurred during 2015. Since 1997, which at the time was the warmest year on record, 16 of the subsequent 18 years have been warmer than that year.
The animated gif at right first shows how the 2015 annual average surface temperature compared to the 1981-2010 average, and then cycles through the monthly maps for January-December 2015.
The new record should come as no surprise to anyone who read our Beyond the Data blog post by NCEI climate scientist Anthony Arguez and several of his colleagues back in September 2015. The team concluded that there was a 97% probability that 2015 would set a new global temperature record. And each month since on our ENSO blog, NOAA scientists have been documenting the ongoing warmth in the tropical Pacific due to the strong El Niño.
More highlights of the 2015 global climate summary are available from the National Centers for Environmental Information. Animation by NOAA Climate.gov, based on data provided by NCEI.