NOAA Report Warns of|Rising Temps and Oceans

     (CN) – Earth has warmed to record high temperatures and its oceans are rising to unmatched levels as well, scientists said in an annual climate report released Thursday.
     The report said Earth’s most important indicators of a changing climate – ocean temperature, land temperature and greenhouse gases – all set records in 2014. The “State of the Climate” compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called 2014 the hottest year since records began in 1880.
     Human activities continue to speed up the Earth’s warming, and greenhouse gases contributed to the record temperatures and rising sea levels, Deke Arndt, NOAA climate monitoring chief, said.
     “Greenhouse gases drive the warming that we see and the consequences of the warming that we see around the world,” Arndt, co-editor of the study, said.
     Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels measured a global average of 397 parts per million in 2014, compared to a global average of 354ppm in 1990. Most regions experienced above-average surface temperatures, with Europe and Mexico suffering their warmest year on record.
     The only region to experience below-average temperatures was Eastern North America.
     According to the report, man-made energy from fossil fuels is directly influencing major weather patterns, providing fuel for hurricanes and jump-starting an El Nino pattern in the Pacific. 91 tropical cyclones in the Pacific were measured in 2014, well above average.
     Oceans absorb 90 percent of the heat produced by greenhouse gas emissions.
     Over the last 20 years Earth’s sea levels have risen and the pattern continued in 2014. According to the report, warm Arctic temperatures contributed to earlier and larger ice melts and resulted in a below-average Arctic sea ice extent     .
     The impact of warming temperatures was seen globally, with several regions experiencing low levels of spring snow cover due to earlier melt. April snow cover levels for Eurasia reached record lows, and North America had below-average snow for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
     For years scientists have warned that expedited melting of ice sheets in Antarctica is directly attributed to greenhouse gas accumulation and is driving sea levels’ rise. NOAA’s 25th annual climate report estimated 2014 to be the 31st consecutive year of negative glacier ice loss as well.
     “The variety of indicators shows us how our climate is changing, not just in temperature but from the depths of the oceans to the outer atmosphere,” Thomas R. Karl, director of NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, said in a statement.

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