2014 is on track to be the hottest year on record, the World Meteorological Organization has announced.
The record smashing year has been attributed to the highest global sea surface temperatures ever measured, which is likely to persist until the end of the year.
The WMO’s provisional statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 2014 found that the average global air temperature over land and sea surface for January to October was 0.57°C above the 14°C average for the 1961-1990 reference period. If November and December follow the same trend, 2014 will be the hottest on record, ahead of 2010, 2005 and 1998.
“The provisional information for 2014 means that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “There is no standstill in global warming.
“What we saw in 2014 is consistent with what we expect from a changing climate. Record-breaking heat combined with torrential rainfall and floods destroyed livelihoods and ruined lives. What is particularly unusual and alarming this year are the high temperatures of vast areas of the ocean surface, including in the northern hemisphere.
“Record-high greenhouse gas emissions and associated atmospheric concentrations are committing the planet to a much more uncertain and inhospitable future. WMO and its members will continue to improve forecasts and services to help people cope with more frequent and damaging extreme weather and climate conditions.”
The provisional statement has been published to inform the annual climate change negotiations taking place in Lima, Peru.