POLITICS
09/17/2015 12:29 pm ET Updated Dec 19, 2016

Summer 2015 Was The Hottest In Recorded History, NOAA Finds

It's time to do more to curb global climate change.
STAN HONDA via Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- The summer of 2015 was the warmest on record in 135 years, federal scientists said on Thursday.

The period from June through August this year registered “the highest” average temperature across land and ocean surfaces on the planet, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

During the three-month time span, global land and ocean temperatures jumped up 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, beating the record set in 2014 by .20 degrees Fahrenheit. The graph below, from the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration, illustrates how much higher temperatures are than in previous record-breaking years. 

 

NOAA

 Two other agencies came to the same conclusion this week. Mashable reported that data from NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency showed summer 2015 was the warmest on record. 

The record-breaking heat should come as no surprise. Not only was summer of 2015 one for the books, but the entire year from January to August was the hottest in recorded history as well, according to NOAA’s data. 

To date, the global temperature across land and ocean surfaces has increased 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.

Rising temperatures, NOAA scientists say, are one of the greatest indicators of human-caused climate change. 

If 2015 continues to clock monthly temperatures higher than the average, then this year will likely surpass 2014 as the hottest ever. Last year was the warmest since 2010 and 2005, according to NOAA and NASA.

NOAA scientists ran through the scenarios in a post on Thursday. The consensus: "It is extremely likely that 2015 will eclipse 2014 as the warmest year on record," the experts wrote. "The historical data suggest it would take a remarkable and abrupt reversal in the NOAAGlobalTemp time series over the remainder of the year to upend 2015’s drive toward record-breaking status."

Lou Leonard, vice president of the World Wildlife Fund, lamented the latest data, urging world leaders to take serious action this year. 

“The need for action on climate change has never been more evident,” Leonard said in a statement. “It’s up to world leaders: 2015 could go down as merely another record-breaking year of warming and its costly consequences, or it could also be the pivotal year of progress in the fight against climate change. The pressure is on, and Mother Nature is turning up the heat on global leaders to deliver meaningful climate action in Paris.” 

Global leaders, including President Barack Obama, will meet in Paris later this year to hash out details of an international climate change accord aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement is expected to include nearly 200 nations.

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