It’s official: No year on record has ever been as hot as 2015. And it broke the temperature record, just set in 2014, by an unusually large margin.
NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the news on Wednesday morning, after both agencies separately analyzed global temperature data and came to the same conclusion.
The record was set by a full tenth of a degree Celsius (or nearly a fifth of a degree Fahrenheit), a much larger margin than usual, as temperature records are commonly broken by just a few hundredths of a degree Celsius, according to Climate Nexus, a climate communications group. Last year, 2014 broke the global temperature record with an average temperature that was 0.78 degrees C (1.4 degrees F) above the average for all of the 20th century. Now, 2015 broke that same record by 0.9 degrees C (1.62 degrees F).
Meanwhile, ten of 2015’s monthly global temperatures broke or tied with existing global heat records, too, the agencies announced.
If it feels like you’ve read some variation on this news dozens of times, it’s because you have. Over the last decade and a half, the global and regional temperature records have been beaten over and over: Just last week, NOAA announced 2015 was the second-hottest year the U.S. has ever seen. This past July was the hottest global July ever. Meanwhile, all of the 10 hottest years on record have happened since 1997. The trend couldn’t be clearer: The planet is warming, and it’s happening now.
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