On January 16, 2015, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that separate analyses by scientists at the two agencies determined that 2014 had the highest average global temperature since 1880, the period of instrumental record. The result means that the 10 warmest years in that historical record have occurred since 1998. Both agencies based their analyses on measurements from about 6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations to estimate the global average temperature difference from a baseline period of 1951 to 1980. According to NASA’s news release, “[s]ince 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades.”
The data set of 2014 surface temperature measurements is available online http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/. NASA’s Web site for earth science is http://www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow/#.VMpnEi7jVMU. NOAA’s Web site is http://www.noaa.gov/.
Source: NASA, NOAA Find 2014 Warmest Year in Modern Record, NASA News Release, 1/16/15.