Well it’s official, 2015 was the warmest year in history since records started being kept in 1880 according to NASA and the the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“While it wasn't necessarily a surprise that 2015 finished in first place, its margin of victory was startling -- it lapped the field,” CNN reported. “With the average temperature across the entire planet 1.62˚F (0.90˚C) above the 20th century average, more than 20% higher than the previous highest departure from average.”
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Ironically, the news arrives just as the northeast braces for a snow storm which is slated to be the first severe weather event of the 2015-2016 winter season.
“In fact, December became the first month to ever reach 2 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for the globe,” CNN reported. “In the United States, December was both the warmest and the wettest on record -- no other month has ever held both distinctions for the country.”
But why is the world so warm? There are several reasons one of which is El Nino, a massive storm system that warms ocean waters and pours heat into the atmosphere.
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Carbon dioxide also played a role, according NASA.
“The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degree Celsius) since the late-19th century, a change largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.”