Provisional figures for the global temperature show that 2014 was the warmest year on record since 1850, according to a Met Office dataset released today.
Last year was 0.56C (±0.1C) above the long-term (1961–1990) average, according to data compiled by the University of East Anglia and the Met Office.
This means that 2014 is tied with 2010 as the joint warmest year on record, although the uncertainty range in the data mean it’s not possible to say for certain which year was the warmest.
‘We can say with confidence that 2014 is one of ten warmest years in the series and that it adds to the set of near-record temperatures we have seen over the last two decades,’ says Colin Morice, a climate-monitoring scientist at the Met Office.
The figures show that there were warm tropical pacific temperatures despite 2014 not being an El Niño year, according to Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia. El Niño is a warm water band in the Pacific Ocean that develops in cycles that usually last two to seven years.
‘The Met Office results confirm those already published by the Japanese Meteorological Agency, NASA and the United States National Climatic Data Center, which have all independently estimated global mean surface temperature in 2014,’ says Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the LSE’s Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy.
‘These findings slay the myth promoted by climate change ‘sceptics’ that global warming has stopped, and should make it even more difficult for politicians, particularly the United States Congress, to deny the scientific evidence that the Earth’s temperature is rising in response to emissions of greenhouse gases from the burning of oil, coal and gas,’ adds Ward.