It's official: 2015 was Earth's warmest year by widest margin on record

The United States also experienced record warmth last year
January 20, 2016
GOES full disk image January 1, 2016.

Move over, 2014: The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was the highest since record-keeping began in 1880, according to scientists from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Moveover, the December 2015 combined global land and ocean average surface temperature departure from average was the highest on record for any month in the 136-year record. 

In an independent analysis of global temperature data, released at the same time, NASA scientists also found 2015 to be the warmest year by the widest margin on record.

For the United States, 2015 turned out to be the second warmest year on record.

The 2015 annual average U.S. temperatureoffsite link was 54.4°F, 2.4°F above the 20th century average. Only 2012 was warmer for the U.S. with an average temperature of 55.3°F. This is the 19th consecutive year the annual average temperature exceeded the 20th century average. The first part of the year was marked by extreme warmth in the West and cold in the East, but by the end of 2015, record warmth spanned the East with near-average temperatures across the West. This temperature pattern resulted in every state having an above-average annual temperature.

More: Find NOAA's report and download images by visiting the NCEI website.

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