Posted August 20, 2015 by Gabriel Posternak

Here we go again – 2015 set to be warmest year on record

To practically no one’s surprise, experts are saying that 2015 is going to be the warmest year on record, taking the top spot from the hot hands of... 2014. In what has become a sad tradition during the last decades, Earth keeps getting hotter and hotter with each passing year, so these new predictions might also be read as a dreadful confirmation – the increase on global temperature won’t stop unless we do something.

Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with ERT, Inc., at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that they are “99 percent certain that [2015] it’s going to be the warmest year on record”. Jake Crouch, a NOAA climatologist, supported Blunden’s vision, stating that they are “now fairly certain that 2015 will be the warmest year on record for the globe.”

Given that last July was the warmest July on record (following three other warmest months on 2015), that certainty is unfortunately spot on. Two figures are enough to feel horribly convinced - NOAA measured July at 1.46 degrees F above the 20th century July average while it also checked that 2015 is 1.53 degrees F above the 20th century average.


To top all that, there’s all also the fact that El Niño is expected to last until the end of the year with an unforeseen strength, highly increasing the odds to turn 2015 into a hotter year than 2014. El Niño’s has boosted the temperatures throughout this year, and with its peak estimated for late fall or early winter, the perspective of 2015 becoming the warmest year on record isn’t likely to change.

Of course, blaming El Niño for that would be oversimplifying the global temperature increase phenomenon. Earth has kept getting hotter since the beginning of the 20th century, with a rise of 1.6 degrees F on the planet’s average temperature. What happened in between? The violent shifts of climate change and the increase of CO2 emissions. As a frightening Climate Central analysis shows, this kind of temperature increase wouldn’t be possible without the rise of global carbon dioxide levels, which has nearly doubled since the preindustrial times.

And if we don’t make a change for the better, this trend will keep going and going. If CO2 levels are to keep increasing (and there’s no evidence that they won’t), then our planet might see an increase of up to 9 degrees F by the year 2100, depending on when (and if!) greenhouse gas emissions are curbed.

What it all means is that we’ll keep seeing this kind of headlines in future years, as Earth keeps heading for blistering temperatures that can only be avoided by a widespread commitment to change. Are you already committed?

Via Grist

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