Oct 21, 2015

2015 likely to be the hottest year ever recorded

by
Justin Gillis
,
New York Times
The first nine months of 2015 were the hottest since 1880. Clockwise from top left: a water spring north of Jerusalem; the boardwalk at Coney Island in New York City; a graveyard in Karachi, Pakistan; and a fountain in Madrid. Photos clockwise from top left: Abir Sultan, European Pressphoto Agency; Spencer Platt, Getty Images; Akhtar Soomro, Reuters; Emilio Naranjo, European Pressphoto Agency
The first nine months of 2015 were the hottest since 1880. Clockwise from top left: a water spring north of Jerusalem; the boardwalk at Coney Island in New York City; a graveyard in Karachi, Pakistan; and a fountain in Madrid. Photos clockwise from top left: Abir Sultan, European Pressphoto Agency; Spencer Platt, Getty Images; Akhtar Soomro, Reuters; Emilio Naranjo, European Pressphoto Agency

The immediate cause of the record-breaking warmth is a strong El Niño weather pattern, in which the ocean releases immense amounts of heat into the atmosphere. But temperatures are running so far ahead of those during the last strong El Niño, in 1997 and 1998, that scientists said the records would not be occurring without an underlying trend caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.