A report which looks at all the climate variables that can be measured for 2014 has been released today.
The annual ‘State of the Climate’ report has been published by the American Meteorological Society, presenting summaries for all so-called Essential Climate Variables (ECVs).
These include various types of greenhouse gases, temperatures throughout the atmosphere, ocean, and land, water cycle variables, ocean variables such as sea level and salinity, sea ice extent, permafrost temperatures and others. The majority of these reflect a planet that is continuing to warm.
The exceptional warmth of 2014 occurred against a backdrop of neutral to marginal El Niño conditions. Europe was especially warm and all land regions apart from North America showed above average frequency of warm extremes.
Over oceans, global sea surface temperatures and ocean heat content were also observed to be exceptionally warm and sea level exceptionally high.
The significant warmth is reflected strongly in regions of snow and ice. Arctic sea ice was well below average but above the exceptional lows seen in 2007, 2011 and 2012. Glacier volume is declining year on year – preliminary results for 2014 make it the 31st consecutive year of decline.
Long-lived greenhouse gases continued to increase, primarily owing to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, in addition to methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and other minor trace gases.
The Met Office’s Kate Willett, a lead chapter editor on the new report, said: “The comprehensive view of the different variables in the report enables a better understanding of the interconnectedness of our climate system.”
‘State of the Climate in 2014’ is the 25th consecutive instalment of the report, which is lead by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, along with 413 scientists from 58 countries.
Met Office scientist Kate Willett leads the Global Climate chapter and several other Met Office scientists contribute, using Met Office Hadley Centre climate data. All reports are freely available online.