The numbers are in, and the news isn’t good; 2014 was the warmest year on record.
Even though the US Midwest experienced at least two severe “polar vortex” events, and cool temperatures continued throughout the year in several states, many places around the planet were roasting. It was warmer than average for most of the year in Europe, Russia, Northern Africa, the interior of South America and Australia. The heat enveloped the dry, hot Western US with California, Arizona and Nevada recording their warmest years since records began 135 years ago.
Ocean temperatures also were warmer than the 20th Century averages, fueling typhoons in the Pacific. Japan, Pakistan, India and Southeast Asian countries experienced heavy downpours and periods of wetness.
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The global average land surface temperature was 1.8 degrees F (1 degree Centigrade) higher than the 20th Century average, making it the fourth highest among all the years on record since 1880.
The globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.03 F degrees (.57 Centigrade) above the 20th Century average. The ocean reading, the highest among all the years back to 1880, pushed 2014 into its record-setting place, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).