2014 is currently the hottest year on record, but 2015 is already challenging that standing. The records stretch back to the late 1800s. According to an analysis of data by Climate Central, for every new record low temperature this year, there are two new record high temperatures. Plus, new all-time warm low-temperatures are outpacing the cold record lows more than 6-to-1. Warmer nights contribute to the yearly warmth because it is the combination of lows and highs that are used to calculate the global average.
The below graphic (click here to see the graphic on your mobile device) shows the 2015 January through July temperature departure from the average, which was calculated from the 1981-2010 numbers. You can see at a glance warmer temperatures, represented by the pink and red colors, abound. A few spots across the globe, including the eastern U.S. and Canada, were cooler than average as seen in the blue colors.
According to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), January through July of this year "comprised the warmest such period on record across the world's land and ocean surfaces...surpassing the previous record set in 2010", plus five of those seven months have been the warmest on record. The other two rank second and third compared to the same months in other years.
This year the presence of El Niño could be a factor in record setting global heat. El Niño tends to drive up the global temperature average. With a strong El NIño in the forecast, this will likely help keep 2015 in the top 10 years for record setting global warmth.
Copyright 2015 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
7831 N. Business Park Drive
Tucson, AZ 85743