2015 shatters global temperature record

Part of that can be blamed on El Nino, but certainly it isn't the only explanation -- or even the main explanation.

Jason Spencer | Jan 24, 2016

   

It's getting tougher and tougher to deny the existence of global warming: a new government report indicates that last year was the hottest year for the Earth by far.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and NASA announced this week that 2015 beat every single other year where temperatures were measured, going back 136 years, according to an Associated Press report.

Part of that can be blamed on El Nino, but certainly it isn't the only explanation -- or even the main explanation -- for such a tremendous rise, with scientists saying as in previous years, global warming is the main cause.

The mean temperature in 2015 was 58.62 degrees Fahrenheit, which beat the previous record-holder -- 2014 -- by 0.29 degrees. That figure is a full 1.62 degrees above the average temperature for the entire 20th century. NASA's measurements were somewhat different, but they also found the Earth was 0.23 degrees warmer than last year.

World leaders recently convened in Paris to try to figure out ways to keep the Earth from warming 1.5 or more degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times -- and considering we've now reached 1 degree Celsius over that mark, there isn't far to go.

The Earth is already experiencing the effects of global warming, which is believed to cause more famines, increase the intensity of violent storms, and lead to rising water levels that could flood coastal areas. This new reading suggests that the trend will only continue, scientists say.

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