Guest post by Beth Mole
Steady upticks of land and ocean surface temperatures have pushed 2013 squarely into the top 10 warmest years since 1880, when scientists began recording weather data. The globe’s combined annual temperatures have topped the 20th century’s average for 37 years in a row.
In an annual climate and weather analysis released January 21, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that last year’s temperatures rose 0.62° Celsius above the 20th century’s average. The figure ties 2013 with 2003 as the fourth warmest year on record.
NASA simultaneously released a similar report that suggests 2013 ties 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year on record, with a temperature rise of 0.63° Celsius.
The agencies state that the varying rankings are due to different data types and modeling methods.
Despite the discrepancy, Gavin Schmidt, deputy director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, emphasized that sustained global warming is irrefutable. “The long term trends are very clear,” he said during a press teleconference.