WASHINGTON (January 16, 2015) – 2014 was the hottest year on record, according to multiple agencies that track global temperature, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.
This marks the 38th consecutive year in which the global annual temperature has exceeded the 20th century average, according to NOAA. That means roughly half of all Americans and about 65 percent of the global population have never lived through an average year, according to Brenda Ekwurzel, a senior climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Below is statement by Ekwurzel:
“Climate change is increasingly staring us in the face. As long as industrial emissions keep rising, temperature records will keep breaking. It’s more than just temperature, too. The past several years have produced record-high sea levels, record-low Arctic ice volume, and many other new records.
“It’s particularly striking that we set a global temperature record despite the fact that there was a sputtering El Niño, an ocean condition that brings warmer weather like we had in 1998 when the last record was set. Long-term, we can expect this record to be broken again and again.
“The good news is that the extent of future climate change depends largely on the decisions we make today about how much more heat-trapping industrial emissions go into the atmosphere. The world has already warmed one and a half degrees Fahrenheit. If we significantly cut emissions, we’ll likely double that. Right now, emissions are on pace to produce more than quadruple the amount of warming we’ve already seen.
“Climate change is still presenting us with choices; failing to act is by far the riskiest among them.”
Ekwurzel has written a post on UCS’s blog, the Equation, with figures, images and data related to the new records and future temperature projections.