The year 2014 was declared the hottest year in a joint announcement by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, based on separate analyses of weather records dating back to 1880, when Rutherford B. Hayes occupied the White House.
Driven in part by steadily warming oceans, average temperatures edged past the previous records set in 2005 and 2010. The 10 hottest years in modern times have all come since 1997, NASA scientists said.
“This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. While fluctuations are possible in any given year in a system as chaotic as weather, Schmidt said, “the long-term trends are attributable to drivers of climate change that right now are dominated by human emissions of greenhouse gases.”