It’s official! 2015 was the warmest year on record
NOAA and NASA have officially confirmed that 2015 was the hottest year on record. During 2015, the average temperature across the globe on both land and water was 0.90C (1.62F) above the 20th-century average.
“Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much,” NASA said in a press release. These temperature variations may seem small, however, it’s no coincidence that 2015 had some of the worst climate-related events in recorded history.
NASA is able to analyse the surface temperature measurements from 6,300 weather stations scattered around the globe on both land and sea. Using complex algorithms which take into account small variations of temperature fluctuations which may or may not be influenced by urban city dwellings.
The Animation below shows a colour-coded map of the average global surface temperatures from 1880 through 2015. The higher temperatures are shown in red and lower temperatures are shown in blue in Celsius.
NASA further states that out of the 136-year record, most of the warming occurred in the last 35 years. This drastic increase is temperature rise can be blamed on the rapid increase in fossil-fuel use which in-turn releases harmful heat-absorbing greenhouse gases. Beijing has been in the spotlight recently after red-alerts were issued to factories to close down after an unprecedented amount of smog had blanketed the city. Cases like this are one of the key driving forces behind Obama’s global climate change, which has resulted in world leaders to secure a global agreement.
In 2015, India witnessed one of the largest heatwaves killing 2330 people and leaving thousands hospitalised. Furthermore, across the border in Pakistan, 1200 people had died due to a similar heatwave, which saw temperatures rise to nearly 50C.These were no isolated events, in 2015, California was in its fourth year of drought, causing the government to setup up emergency measures to protect what water was left.
Unless more is done to prevent the emission of greenhouse gases 2016 is set to become the next ‘hottest year on record’. The global climate change agreement signed by world leaders is one step in the right direction in securing our future on this planet. For now, we can all do our part and make sure we keep our urban environments as pollution-free as possible.