It is clear that 2014 will end up as the warmest year on record
Despite a bitter U.S. cold snap, the globe is rushing hell-bent toward its warmest year on record with last month setting the fifth monthly heat record of the year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday that last month was the hottest October on record worldwide.
"It is becoming pretty clear that 2014 will end up as the warmest year on record," said Deke Arndt, climate monitoring chief for NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina. "The remaining question is: How much?" With only two months left in the year, 2014 has now surged ahead as the globe's warmest year so far, beating 2010 and 1998. So far this year, the world is averaging 58.62 degrees (14.78 degrees Celsius). If the last two months of the year are only average for the 21st century, it will still be the warmest year ever, Arndt said.
He said this year's heat is what scientists expect from man-made global warming. Scientists say the burning of coal, oil and gas traps heats, changing the climate. This heat is being driven by incredible warmth in the world's oceans, Arndt said. The six warmest months on record for the world ocean temperatures have been the last six months. Because oceans are big and slow to change that makes it more likely the world will set a yearly temperature record, he said.
Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann said in an email he hopes the new data will put to rest "the silly ongoing claims that global warming has 'stopped' or that there is a 'hiatus' in global warming."