Concern for the rising of global temperatures and its effects on our environment continue to feature in news bulletins day-in, day-out, giving the issue the coverage that it surely deserves.
Data from the monthly Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index has shown that over the course of September the average temperature on Earth was 58.6 degrees F, breaking the previous record held by September 2005, as well as being 1.39 degrees F above the 1951-1980 average for September.
September 2014 to be the hottest on record?
September 2014 was the second consecutive hottest month, following on from a record-breaking August. May 2014 was also the hottest on record, and 4 out of the 5 hottest ever have occurred in the past five years. Weather.com claimed that 2014 has the potential to be the world’s hottest year on record.
However, the U.S. saw only its 26th warmest September since records began, with an average temperature of 66.2 degrees F, or 1.3 F above average. That said, California experienced its warmest January-September period ever; temperatures in Hilo, Hawaii, reached 93 degrees F to shatter a monthly record that had stood since 1951; and Cold Bay, Alaska, had its warmest September ever. On the other hand, a storm hit the Rockies and the Dakotas over September 10-11 to set records for earliest snowfall.
Will it continue?
The hot 2014 that the Earth has been experiencing began with an incredibly warm April, which incidentally was the first month in at least 800,000 years in which levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million.
Commentators have speculated that a trend towards weather phenomenon El Niño may be encouraging heat to be released from the tropical Pacific Ocean, influencing atmospheric temperatures.
It is possible that global temperatures have reached higher levels than human civilization has ever experienced before, with the current warm patch the hottest that the Earth has been in at least 4,000 years.
Researchers claim that the world’s oceans have been storing up extra heat, and only in the last decade has atmospheric warming started to experience a similar increase.