State of the Climate in 2014

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Blunden, Jessica, and Derek S. Arndt
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Most of the dozens of essential climate variables monitored each year in this report continued to follow their long-term trends in 2014, with several setting new records. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—the major greenhouse gases released into Earth’s atmosphere—once again all reached record high average atmospheric concentrations for the year...Accompanying the record-high greenhouse gas concentrations was nominally the highest annual global surface temperature in at least 135 years of modern record keeping, according to four independent observational analyses. The warmth was distributed widely around the globe's land areas...It was the oceans that drove the record global surface temperature in 2014. Although 2014 was largely ENSO-neutral, the globally averaged sea surface temperature (SST) was the highest on record. The warmth was particularly notable in the North Pacific Ocean where SST anomalies signaled a transition from a negative to positive phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation...Precipitation was quite variable across the globe. On balance, precipitation over the world’s oceans was above average, while below average across land surfaces. Drought continued in southeastern Brazil and the western United States...Across the major tropical cyclone basins, 91 named storms were observed during 2014, above the 1981–2010 global average of 82...In higher latitudes and at higher elevations, increased warming continued to be visible in the decline of glacier mass balance, increasing permafrost temperatures, and a deeper thawing layer in seasonally frozen soil. In the Arctic, the 2014 temperature over land areas was the fourth highest in the 115-year period of record and snow melt occurred 20–30 days earlier than the 1998–2010 average.


Blunden, Jessica, and Derek S. Arndt, eds. 2015. “State of the Climate in 2014.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 96 (7): ES1–32. doi:10.1175/2015BAMSStateoftheClimate.1.