Washington : The world could witness the hottest year this year with the first 10 months of 2014 being the warmest since record keeping began more than 130 years ago, a top US scientific agency has warned.
Despite the early bitter cold across parts of the US in recent weeks, it has been a hot year so far for the Earth.
With two months left on the calendar, 2014 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record, it said. The average global temperature between January and October has been 0.68 degrees Celsius higher than the 20th century’s average global temperature of 14.1 C.
This October was the hottest October on record globally: The mercury climbed more than one degree Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 57.1 F. It was the fourth warmest October on record for the US.
” The record high October temperature was driven by warmth across the globe over both the land and ocean surfaces and was fairly evenly distributed between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres,” CNN quoted the agency as saying.
NOAA’s analysis breaks down global temperatures into two categories — land and ocean — then an average that includes both. The record high temperatures in October were recorded across both land and sea. The surface temperature on land approached an important scientific benchmark.
It was almost 2 degrees Celsius higher than the 20th century average for October of 9.3 C. Scientists have long predicted that a change in global average temperature of just 2 to 3 degrees higher could spell disaster for the planet, contributing to catastrophic storms, sea level rise, dangerous storm surges and melting polar ice.
According to the non- binding international agreement on climate change — the Copenhagen Accord, reached in 2009 — any temperature increase above the 2 degree Celsius mark is ” dangerous.” NOAA said the ocean temperatures were also the warmest on record in October with an increase of 1.12 F over the 20th century average of 60.6 degrees.
” It is also notable that record warmth was observed in at least some areas of every continent and major ocean basin around the world,” the agency said. Of particular note, several countries have already seen an average temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius in October 2014 compared to the 20th century averages, including Australia, Germany, France, Switzerland and Sweden.