U.N. Confirms 2014 Was 'Hottest Year on Record'.
United Nations, Rabi'II 13, 1436, Feb 2, 2015, SPA -- Last year was the "hottest on record," part of a "warning trend" that appeared set to continue, the U.N. weather agency said Monday, confirming earlier results from the U.S. and British governments.
Average global air temperatures in 2014 were 0.57 degree Celsius (C) higher than the long-term average of 14 C for a 1961-1990 reference period, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement. Global sea-surface temperatures also reached record levels.
"Fourteen of the 15 hottest years have all been this century," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in Geneva. "In 2014, record-breaking heat combined with torrential rainfall and floods in many countries and drought in some others - consistent with the expectation of a changing climate."
U.N. members will meet in Geneva next week for talks on a global climate agreement that must be signed in Paris in December for limiting emissions of greenhouse gases. The United Nations seeks to limit warming to no more than 2 C above pre-Industrial Revolution levels, but scientists warn the Earth is on target for double that target, with potentially catastrophic results.
"We expect global warming to continue, given that rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the increasing heat content of the oceans are committing us to a warmer future," Jarraud said.
21:49 LOCAL TIME 18:49 GMT
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