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2014 on track to be hottest year on record



Both the UK and the world are on track to make 2014 the hottest year on record, according to early figures from the Met Office. The organisation added that the temperatures recorded would be “highly unlikely” without human influence on the climate.

Across the globe between January and October temperatures was 0.57C above the long-term average, the data shows. With two months of data to add it seems likely that 2014 will beat the previous record of 0.56C above the average in 2010 in the global series, which dates back to 1850.

Last year the Met Office predicted that global temperatures would be 0.57C above average for 2014.

Colin Morice, a climate monitoring scientist at the Met Office, noted that whilst record or near-record years are interesting, the ranking of individual years should be treated with some caution due to uncertainties in the data being larger that the difference between the top ranked years.

“We can say this year will add to the set of near-record temperatures we have seen over the last decade,” he added. The fact that so many records have been set in the last decade indicates that man-made climate change is already having an impact on the world’s temperature.

The difference between the UK’s long run temperature average and those recorded in the first ten months of the year is even greater, standing at 1.6C. All of the months this year so far, except for August, have been above the average.

The Met Office has been using climate models to see how likely an event would be to occur in a world without human greenhouse gas emissions. This allows the organisation to assess how much human influence is altering the chances of an event.

Peter Scott, head of climate attribution at the Met Office, said, “Our research shows current global average temperatures are highly unlikely in a world without human influence on the climate. Human influence has also made breaking the current UK temperature record about ten times more likely.”

Photo: Nicolas via flickr 

Further reading:

NASA: August hottest on record worldwide

Global warming: May 2014 hottest month on record, says Noaa

UK weather: one in four chance of hottest summer ever, says Met Office

July eighth consecutive month of above average temperatures

55 studies find climate change causes conflict