Anthropogenic warming continues to contribute to heat records and this trend shows no signs of abating. We now have the highest concentrations of atmospheric CO2 in human history and it is no coincidence that we are also consistently breaking heat records. The summer of 2015 was the hottest summer ever recorded. Global average sea surface temperatures this summer were 1.35 degrees Fahrenheit (0.75 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average. According to NOAA, this is the highest departure from average for this period since records began in 1880. Five months of 2015 are among the top 10 monthly temperature departures.
It is certain that 2015 will be the hottest year on record. Prior to this year 2014 was the hottest. The new average heat record that will be set this year adds to a string of record breaking average annual temperatures. Thirteen of the 14 hottest years have come in the 21st century. This was also the hottest decade on record.
The month of August was the hottest on record as were all of the months dating back to the start of the summer in June. We also set a record for both the warmest sixth month period (Feb - August) and 12 month period (August 2014 to August 2015).
NOAA the Japan Meteorological Agency and NASA all agree that 2015 is on track to be the hottest year ever.
As reported by the Guardian, a new report from the UK Met Office indicates that the record-breaking global temperatures in 2015 will continue in 2016. This is not just more of the same, we are talking about an intensification of an already pronounced warming trend. The result is that global warming is expected to accelerate in coming years.
"We will look back on this period as an important turning point," said Professor Adam Scaife, who led the Met Office analysis. "That is why we are emphasising it, because there are so many big changes happening at once. This year and next year are likely to be at, or near, record levels of warming."
Professor Rowan Sutton, at the University of Reading and who reviewed the Met Office report, said: "The fact that 2014, 2015 and 2016 look like being among the very warmest years on record is a further reminder about climate change."
The Met report flatly attributes most of the warming to human activity (ie carbon emissions). A strong El Niño effect is also at play which makes it likely that this extreme heat will continue well into 2016.
The temperature records make global warming impossible to refute.
When we examine the data from tree rings, ice cores and coral formations in the ocean we can determine that the Earth is now the warmest it has been since at least 4,000 years.
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El Niño and Global Warming are Locked in a Feedback Loop
Hottest June Foreshadows the Hottest Year on Record
Extreme Heat in the Western World Marks the Start of Summer 2015
At Least 30 Years of Above Average Temperatures
Heat Records Tell the Story of Climate Change
India's Heat Wave Offers a Glimpse into the Future
2014 is the Hottest Year in Recorded History
3 Charts: Record Breaking Heat August - October 2014
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Record Breaking Heat Suggests Accelerated Warming
Interactive Map - Summer Heat in the US
June's Record Breaking Heat and the Global Warming Trend
Freak Weather: Alaska is Warmer than Alabama
James Hansen's 2012 Research Linking Global Warming and Extreme Weather
In the US 2012 is The Hottest Most Extreme Year in Recorded History
Globally 2012 is One of the Hottest Years on Record