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2015 smashed heat records

Warming and El Niño pushed global temperatures up

5:18pm, January 20, 2016
El Niño warming map

HEATING UP  The ongoing strong El Niño and global warming fueled by fossil fuel emissions made 2015 the hottest year on record, scientists report. Blue areas were cooler than their long-term averages; red areas were warmer.

Things are definitely heating up. Spurred by global warming and a “super El Niño,” 2015 smashed records, becoming by far Earth’s hottest year since record-keeping began in 1880.

Worldwide surface temperatures were on average 0.90 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th century average of 13.9°, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA reported January 20 in a joint announcement. That’s well above the previous record of 0.74 degrees above average set in 2014 (SN Online: 1/16/15). The 0.16-degree difference between the two years is the largest margin by which an annual temperature record has ever been broken.

What’s more, the new record leaves little room for doubt. NOAA reported over 99 percent confidence that 2015 was in fact the hottest year on record,

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