"Man-Made" Climate Change Makes 2014 Warmest Year On Record

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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Heat Wave Building Into The Ohio Valley and Eastern United States / Flickr CC BY 2.0

23 March 2015 – The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released the “WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 2014”. Its release coincides with World Meteorological Day 2015, which promotes the theme “Climate Knowledge for Climate Action”. The main characteristics indicate a record ocean heat, high land-surface temperatures, a record maximum extent of Antarctic sea ice, and devastating flooding. Overall, the global climate in 2014 was the warmest year on record with a global average temperature of about 14.57°C (58.23°F).

The theme of this year’s #WorldMetDay was chosen to not only highlight the progress in climate science and services like seasonal predictions, but also to encourage the international community to move this year towards ambitious decisions and actions to address climate variability and change.

“We have sound climate knowledge to inform climate action and to keep climate change impacts to a manageable level. The cost of inaction is high and will become even higher”, said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

Man-Made Climate Change

Thanks to the fast-growing research area of event attribution new scientific tools have been developed to determine the influence of man-made climate change on extreme events.

“Multiple lines of evidence – from mounting surface temperatures to shrinking glaciers, from sea-level rise to weather extremes – show that the climate is changing and that this is largely due to human activities, as highlighted by the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”, explains Mr Jarraud.

“We must face our responsibilities to future generations and act to cut greenhouse gas emissions before we run out of time.”

Some Facts & Figures

  • In Europe, 19 countries reported record annual temperatures
  • Summer 2014 was the warmest year on record for Kangerlussuaq (West Greenland), the area of highest surface melt
  • The annual maximum daily extent of arctic sea ice, recorded on 21 March, was 14.91 million km2 – around twice the surface of Australia.
  • The annual maximum daily extent of Antarctic sea ice, recorded on 22 September, was 20.11 million km2 – close to twice the surface of Canada.
  • 78 tropical cyclones were recorded in 2014. This is below the total for 2013 (94) and below the 1981-2010 average of 89 storms.

#WorldMetDay - Climate Knowledge for Climate Action


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