The year 2015 was the warmest on Earth since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses released by the U.S. and U.K. governments this week.
U.S. weather agency NOAA (1/20) said the average global temperature across land and ocean surfaces was 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.62°F) above average temperatures last century, breaking all previous records.
U.S. space agency NASA (1/20), citing its own independent analysis, said 2015 shattered the previous record, set in 2014, by 0.13 degrees Celsius (0.23°F), the biggest annual jump since 1998. “Today’s announcement… is a key data point that should make policy makers stand up and take notice,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.
U.K.’s Met Office (1/20) announced similar findings, saying the average global temperature in 2015 was 0.65 to 0.85 degrees Celsius above temperatures in the second half of the 20th century and 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures in the second half of the 19th century. The Met Office’s Peter Stott said it was the first time the average global temperature was 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The 2015 temperature record was covered by major news outlets, including CNN (1/20), the New York Times (1/20), the Washington Post (1/20), BBC (1/20) and the Guardian (1/20).
News outlets and government agencies alike said the current El Nino weather phenomenon contributed to the warm temperatures in 2015.
The Guardian (1/14) also reported on a survey by the World Economic Forum, which is hosting its annual summit in Davos this week. The survey found that economists and other experts believe a failure to mitigate and adapt to climate change poses the greatest potential threat to the global economy.