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WMO, NOAA: 2015 the Warmest on Record by the Widest Margin

wmo-noaa25 January 2016: According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the global average temperature over land and ocean for 2015 was the highest since record keeping began. The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for December was the highest for any month recorded, and 2011-2015 was the warmest five-year period on record.

A WMO consolidated analysis indicates that the global average surface temperature in 2015 broke all previous records by the margin of 0.76±0.1°C above the 1961-1990 average. Also, for the first time on record, temperatures in 2015 were 1°C above the pre-industrial levels. According to the NOAA 'Global Analysis – Annual 2015,' record warmth was broadly spread around the world, and the average annual sea ice extent in the Arctic was the sixth smallest annual value in the 37-year period.

In his comments, Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary-General, stated that “an exceptionally strong” El Niño and global warming caused by greenhouse gases (GHGs) had a compound effect on the climate system in 2015. “The power of El Niño will fade in the coming months,” he noted, “but the impacts of human-induced climate change will be with us for many decades.” Taalas emphasized the need to invest in adaptation alongside mitigation and strengthen the capability of countries to provide better disaster early warnings, describing weather-related disasters as an obstacle to sustainable development. [WMO Press Release] [Publication: NOAA Global Analysis - Annual 2015] [Publication: NOAA Global Analysis - December 2015] [NOAA Summary Information] [UNFCCC Press Release]