2015 Likely to be Warmest on Record

The global average surface temperature in 2015 is likely to be the warmest on record and reach the symbolic and significant milestone of 1°C above the pre-industrial era. WMO concludes that this record high is due to the combination of a strong El Niño and human-induced global warming.

A five-year analysis carried out by WMO shows that the 2011–2015 period has been the warmest five-year period on record, with many extreme weather events influenced by climate change. The global average sea-surface temperature record, which was set in 2014, is likely to equalled or surpassed in 2015. The global average temperatures over land from January to October suggest that 2015 is also set to be one of the warmest years on record. 

The final technical workshop will include a project evaluation and the definition of a new project. 

Highlights of 2015 include:

  • Ocean heat and sea level rise: Oceans have been absorbing most of the accumulating excess energy due to human-emitted greenhouse gases, resulting in higher temperatures and sea levels. The latest estimates indicate that the global average sea level in the first half of 2015 was the highest since satellite observations became available in 1993. Significant warmth has also been recorded across large areas of the ocean. In October, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared that record global ocean temperatures had led to a global coral bleaching event.
  • Regional temperatures: Significantly warmer than average temperatures were recorded over the majority of observed land areas. One notably cold area was the Antarctic, where a strong anomaly in atmospheric patterns, known as the Southern Annular Mode, lasted for several months.
  •  Heatwaves: Many countries and regions have been affected by heatwaves and high temperatures. Several maximum temperature records were broken.
  • Rainfall and drought: While a number of areas have suffered from high rainfall, which have caused flooding and landslides, others have experienced dry, warm conditions, which have caused long-term drought and development of wildfires.
  • Tropical cyclones: Globally, 84 tropical storms formed between the start of the year and 10 November, compared to the 1981–2010 annual average of 85. There were 25 named storms recorded in the North-west Pacific basin, 4 in the Northern Indian Ocean and 9 in the Southern Pacific. Six typhoons made landfall in China.

Share this page