It’s not like we really needed to be told again that our planet is getting warmer…. But IT IS!!! Both NASA and NOAA have independently concluded that Earth’s surface temperatures in 2015 were higher than any previous year in recorded history. The hottest year recorded before that? 2014!! The temperatures in 2015 beat the 2014 record by a whopping 32.2 degrees Fahrenheit. A good portion of the recorded warming happened within the past 3 decades.
Climatologist Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, says, “It’s not unprecedented to have two years in a row of record-breaking temperatures, but in our records, we’ve never had three years in a row.” “If 2016 turns out to be as warm as we anticipate, that would be unprecedented in our record book.”
One reason scientists expect 2016 to be even warmer than 2015 is that the lingering effects of the El Niño weather pattern should push temperatures skyward through the first half of the year.