And judging from the first seven months of the year, it is pretty certain that 2015 will go down as the warmest year on record.
The average temperature in July was 61.86 degrees Fahrenheit beating the old planetary record set in 1998 and 2010 by one-seventh of a degree, according to calculations released last week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It may seem like a small number but for weather records its considered rather large as the last record was broken by a 20th of a degree.
"Global warming is accelerating and this year we're really seeing it happen." "It's just a reaffirmation of what we already know - the Earth is warming," said NOAA climate scientist Jake Crouch
NOAA has kept records back to 1880 but they are not the only organization to keep records. The Japan Meteorological Agency, frequently abbreviated to JMA, is located in Chiyoda, Tokyo. JMA is designated as one of the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers of the World and a premier Meteorological Organization. JMA also confirmed July 2015 as the hottest month on record, so the evidence is considered conclusive.
NOAA has data dating from 1880, but July may have been the hottest month in 4,000 years and climate research indicate these are the hottest temperatures Earth has seen since the Bronze Age.
Also according to NOAA, "the first seven months of 2015 were the hottest January-to July period on record." The seven month average was 58.43 degrees and was 1.53 degrees hotter that the 20th century average. It was also one sixth of a degree hotter than the previous record from 2010.
NOAA climate scientist, Jessica Blunden, citing "significant factors" like current high ocean temperatures said she is "certain that 2015 will set the record for the hottest year." She added that, "this is a 99 percent certainty since the only way it won't happen would be for the oceans to cool and the trend is towards warmer oceans, not cooler."
The oceans are the principle driver of the elevated temperatures and since once heated are slow to cool will remain so according to the data.
The world's oceans were 1.35 degrees warmer this July than the 20th century average. the rise in temperatures are attributable to both man-made climate change and a near-record El Nino.
El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an irregularly periodical climate change caused by variations in sea surface temperatures over the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, that affect the tropics and subtropics and can last several years. El Nino is associated with warming and its twin, El Nina with cooling.
The high than average July is a worldwide phenomenon with Europe and the Middle East feeling the blow heavily. Austria, for example, had the hottest July since 1767 and parts of France averaged 7 degrees over normal while the Netherlands saw the thermometer break a 100. Iran may have fared the worst as its heat index hit 165 degrees and yet that was still not a record for the nation that sits on old world Persia.
Also supporting the validity of global warming is a reading of heat rise patterns for the past decade. Nine of the 10 hottest months occurred in this period, according to NOAA and "twenty two of the hottest months recorded occurred since 2000 with the remaining three in 1998 and 1997.
The graph below shows that there has been a continual, upward warming trend, dispelling those who deny climate change and global warming are real.
University of Georgia climate scientist, Marshall Shepherd gave this perspective. "I worry that the public will grow tired of the number of reports that show climate change is real but I worry more about how the planet is responding to the changes and the implications for my children and future generations."
Note: NOAA on July records: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/summary-info/global/201507