Climate Records For 2014

Climate Records Spell Out A Warning That Planet Earth Is ‘Gravely Ill’

Climate records spell out a warning that planet Earth is “gravely ill.” Numerous climate records were broken in 2014, according to the State of the Climate report, published in the journal, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

This latest report is highly technical — having brought together hundreds of scientists from various countries to analyze all aspects of the Earth’s climate change from the previous year.

The 292-page study includes the work of more than 400 scientists analyzing all aspects of the Earth’s climate, including temperature, precipitation, extreme weather conditions, and ice melting, to name a few.

Grist reviewed the report and briefly explains how the planet’s rising temperature continues its upward trend.

“Four datasets of global temperatures ranked 2014 as the warmest year on record (or tied for warmest) going back to 1880. A Climate Central analysis showed that 13 of the hottest 15 years on record have all occurred since 2000 and that the odds of that happening randomly without the boost of global warming is 1 in 27 million.”

Jeff Severinghaus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography provided Associated Press with an analogy of Earth seeing a doctor for its annual checkup.

“The doctor is saying ‘you are gravely ill.’ “

The climate records broken down for 2014 relate predominantly to Earth’s warming trend.

For example, according to the report, the Earth’s oceans are warming up. Temperatures on the sea’s surface hit record highs.

Greg Johnson, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, offered his comment concerning ocean temperatures.

“The heat content is just continuing to pile up. You can kind of think of ocean warming as being global warming.”

Additionally, Climate Central reports the North Pacific was exceptionally hot.

Grist adds how the Earth’s heat is causing the planet’s ice to melt.

“All the excess heat in the Earth system, both at the surface and in the oceans, has contributed to the steady disappearance of the planet’s ice, including Arctic sea ice, mountain glaciers, and permafrost.”

In addition to rising temperatures and ice melting, the reports says carbon dioxide levels are rising, as well.

Grist offered a breakdown of the carbon dioxide level readings obtained from the latest report.

“The global average carbon dioxide level reached a new record high of 397.2 parts per million last year, a nearly 2 ppm rise from 2013, and a 40 percent increase from preindustrial levels. The average for three months of last year — April, May, and June — was above 400 ppm; that level will likely be exceeded for many more months this year.”

After viewing the climate records from the recent State of the Climate report, Alter Net points out how much sea levels are rising.

“Sea levels are setting records too. Sea levels are now about 67 millimeters, or about 2.6 inches, higher than they were in 1993. Factors contributing to this rise include the melting of glaciers and other sea ice, the fact that water expands as it warms and melting land ice flowing out to sea.”

The State of the Climate report offers the following conclusion.

“As we step into the next quarter-century of this report’s life, we look forward to seeing our Earth science disciplines grow to meet the challenges associated with documenting the evolving state of our planet’s climate system in this series.”

The writers of the report add a final thought.

“These challenges are not just in observing and documenting, but in connecting across the climate system’s several major components and associated myriad sub-components, the time scales and observing practices related to these, and the possibilities of satellite-era Big Data with the longevity and purpose of more traditional observations.”

[Featured image via HealthBuzz]