Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.13 Celsius.
The warming effects of the current El Niño climate pattern contributed to the record temperatures, but did not account for all the warming seen last year.
“2015 was remarkable even in the context of the ongoing El Niño,” said Gavin Schmidt, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “Last year’s temperatures had an assist from El Niño, but it is the cumulative effect of the long-term trend that has resulted in the record warming that we are seeing.”
“Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and NASA’s vital work on this important issue affects every person on Earth,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
“Today’s announcement not only underscores how critical NASA’s Earth observation program is, it is a key data point that should make policy makers stand up and take notice – now is the time to act on climate.”
The NASA announcement has been covered in New Zealand media. Examples include:
TVNZ News: 2015 was the world’s hottest year on record – and it’s not good news for NZ
3 News: NZ should be worried about hottest year on record Greenpeace
New Zealand Herald: 2015 was hottest year in recorded history, scientists say
3 News: 2015: hottest year on record
NZ City News: Hottest year on record ‘disturbing’ for NZ
RNZ: 2015 hottest year on record – NASA
Yahoo NZ News: Last year was hottest on record globally – U.S. science agencies