Analysis of temperature reveals world is feeling the heat

BY YESTERDAY morning, it was official - 2014 was the hottest year globally, on record.

The declaration, from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, illustrated a deeply concerning trend for developing countries already feeling the heat of climate change.

Extreme heat blanketed Alaska and much of the western United States last year, with records set across large areas of every inhabited continent.

The ocean surface was unusually warm virtually everywhere except near Antarctica, the scientists said, providing the energy that fuelled damaging Pacific storms.

The 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997, with the previous hottest year being 2010.

Scientists say it is a consequence of human activity and poses profound long-term risks to civilisation and nature.

Oxfam Australia's Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator Simon Bradshaw said the announcement meant a staggering 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have all occurred since 2000.

"This year's record heat was accompanied by another heft of extreme weather disasters. In late December we saw severe flooding from heavy monsoon rains wreak havoc on communities in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia," Dr Bradshaw said.

"In Australia we are not immune. We've been confronted by another harrowing bushfire season, which are becoming worse as hot days become hotter, heatwaves become longer and more frequent, and parts of Australia becomes drier," Dr Bradshaw said.


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