Friday, July 17, 2015

2014 warmest year recorded on land and sea; ocean warming is irreversible, scientists say

2014 was the warmest year ever recorded on land and sea, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed in its annual "State of the Climate" report, compiled by more than 400 scientists around the world.

"The warming of the oceans due to climate change is now unstoppable after record temperatures last year, bringing additional sea-level rise, and raising the risks of severe storms," Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian writes, citing the report. "Global sea level also reached a record high, with the expansion of those warming waters. Scientists said the consequences of those warmer ocean temperatures would be felt for centuries to come – even if there were immediate efforts to cut the carbon emissions fueling changes in the oceans."

"The oceans expand when they get warmer," Christiopher Joyce of NPR notes. "That raises sea levels, which — again, no coincidence — reached their highest point last year, as well. Glaciers continued to melt. And the extent of Arctic sea ice kept shrinking as well. On the temperature front, Europe was hotter than ever. But it wasn't hotter than blazes everywhere. The eastern U.S. got a break. The winter there was especially cold, which led some climate skeptics to question the whole idea of climate change."

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