MAN-MADE WARM­ING, WITH NUDGE FROM EL NIÑO, IG­NITES EARTH TO 136-YEAR HIGH IN TEM­PER­A­TURES

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

wash­ing­ton» Last year wasn’t just Earth’s hottest year on record — it left a cen­tury of high tem­per­a­ture marks in the dust.

The Na­tional Oceanic At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion and NASA on Wed­nes­day an­nounced that 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of record keep­ing. For the most part, sci­en­tists at the agen­cies and else­where blamed man-made global warm­ing, with a boost from El Niño.

NOAA said 2015’s tem­per­a­ture was 58.62 de­grees Fahren­heit (14.79 de­grees Cel­sius), pass­ing 2014 by a record mar­gin of 0.29 de­grees. That’s 1.62 de­grees above the 20th-cen­tury av­er­age.

NASA, which mea­sures dif­fer­ently, said 2015 was 0.23 de­grees warmer than the record set in 2014 and 1.6 de­grees above 20th-cen­tury av­er­age.

Be­cause of the wide mar­gin over 2014, NASA cal­cu­lated that 2015 was a record with 94 per­cent cer­tainty, more than dou­ble the cer­tainty it had last year when an­nounc­ing 2014 as a record. NOAA put the num­ber at above 99 per­cent — or “vir­tu­ally cer­tain,” said Tom Karl, di­rec­tor of NOAA’s Na­tional Cen­ters for En­vi­ron­men­tal In­for­ma­tion.

For the first time, Earth is 1 de­gree Cel­sius (1.8 de­grees Fahren­heit) warmer than it was in pre-in­dus­trial times, NOAA and NASA said.

That’s a key mile­stone be­cause world lead­ers have set a thresh­old of try­ing to avoid warm­ing of 1.5 de­grees Cel­sius or more above pre-in­dus­trial times.

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