Nov 24, 2015

Global Warming Key Driver of 2015’s Record Heat

by
Andrea Thompson
,
WxShift
The gray line on this graph shows observed surface temperatures from 1880 to 2015. The red line shows the effective temperature forcing of greenhouse gases and aerosols (converted to CO2), and the blue line shows the forcing from both those manmade sources and natural factors, like solar radiation.Image: Climate Central
The gray line on this graph shows observed surface temperatures from 1880 to 2015. The red line shows the effective temperature forcing of greenhouse gases and aerosols (converted to CO2), and the blue line shows the forcing from both those manmade sources and natural factors, like solar radiation.Image: Climate Central

It is virtually certain that 2015 will be the warmest year on record, with one of the strongest El Niños ever recorded combining with manmade warming to send global temperatures soaring. But which of these is more responsible for the record heat this year? Global warming fueled by the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere is the overwhelming contributor, according to a new analysis by scientists involved with Climate Central’s World Weather Attribution program and at the University of Reading.