It's Official: 2014 Was The Hottest Year on Record, NOAA Says

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By Eyder Peralta

It's official: 2014 was the hottest year on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center crunched the numbers and came to this conclusion:

"The year 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880. The annually-averaged temperature was 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F), easily breaking the previous records of 2005 and 2010 by 0.04°C (0.07°F). This also marks the 38th consecutive year (since 1977) that the yearly global temperature was above average. Including 2014, 9 of the 10 warmest years in the 135-year period of record have occurred in the 21st century. 1998 currently ranks as the fourth warmest year on record."

We've been expecting this news since December, but NOAA has now made it official.


Here's a good graphic that tells you how temperatures fared globally in relation to a 1981-2010 average:

NOAA image

Editor’s Note: Federal climate scientists confirmed last week that 2014 was California’s warmest year on record, clocking in at 4.1 degrees higher than the 20th century average.

Among western states, Alaska, Arizona and Nevada also had their warmest year on record. Scientists say the warm weather made California’s already withering drought even worse through evaporation, transpiration (the water taken up by plants) and warm overnight lows that melted snow more quickly.

Last year's warm temperatures made air pollution worse in the San Joaquin Valley, where doctors saw more people with asthma and respiratory infections. The record temperatures also shrank wetlands and warmed streams where salmon spawn. Fishermen expect many salmon eggs will die, as they need cold water (ideally 56 degrees or less) to survive.