Environment

2014 was earth’s warmest on record and ocean temperatures are “just ridiculous” scientists warn

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In their annual, detailed assessment of Earth’s climate, scientists say the world is increasingly hot and that sea levels have risen to a record high.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society’s annual state of the climate report delves into the details of already reported record-smashing warmth globally in 2014, giving special attention to the world’s oceans. NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report, said the seas last year ‘were just ridiculous.’ The report, compiled by NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate at the National Centers for Environmental Information is based on contributions from 413 scientists from 58 countries around the world.

The report said ocean surface temperatures were the warmest in 135 years of records, with the seas holding record levels of heat energy at lower depths. Sea levels also hit modern highs. Jeff Severinghaus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said if this report is Earth’s annual checkup, “the doctor is saying ‘you are gravely ill.'” In 2014, the most essential indicators of Earth’s changing climate continued to reflect trends of a warming planet,

The report’s climate indicators show patterns, changes and trends of the global climate system. Examples of the indicators include various types of greenhouse gases; temperatures throughout the atmosphere, ocean, and land; cloud cover; sea level; ocean salinity; sea ice extent; and snow cover. The indicators often reflect many thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets.

Key highlights from the report include,

  • greenhouse gases continued to climb

  • Record temperatures observed near the Earth’s surface

  • Tropical Pacific Ocean moves towards El Niño–Southern Oscillation conditions

  • Sea surface temperatures were record high

  • Global upper ocean heat content was record high

  • Global sea level was record high

  • The Arctic continued to warm; sea ice extent remained low

  • The Antarctic showed highly variable temperature patterns; sea ice extent reached record high

  • Tropical cyclones above average overall

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“2014 was earth’s warmest on record and ocean temperatures are “just ridiculous” scientists warn”