The Heat is On: 2014 Headed for Warmest Year on Record

By Tom Yulsman | October 21, 2014 8:39 am

Source: NOAA

Last week, a NASA update pegged September as the warmest on record. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has concurred — and reported that 2014 is on track to be the be the warmest year since record keeping began in 1880.

NOAA also reports  that the January through September period was tied with 1998 as the hottest since 1880.

“If 2014 maintains this temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year, it will be the warmest year on record,” according to NOAA’s report.

Another indication of what’s happening: The past 12 months — October 2013 through September 2014 — was the toastiest 12-month period in the record books.


  • OWilson

    So one has to wonder what does it all mean?

    For this skeptic, it means that the last ice age is still retreating, and mankind has thrived during these inter-glacial periods.

    We are experiencing record global agricultural production, and the increased C02 is leading to more greening of the planet, according to this magazine. More crops per year in the temperate zones.

    I see uninhabitable tundra growing one day growing wheat, maybe even the expansion of our precious (so we are told) rain forests. Reduced demand for energy used for heating (air conditioning is an expensive luxury, not a necessity like heat)

    And unless the scientists can reverse the earth’s regular cycle of the next ice age, we are doing ok.

    Imagine if that ice sheet comes back and covers Manhattan in another 2 Km of thick ice. Now that would create some real problems for the world.

    I think global cooling is a bigger threat.

    • mbkeefer

      The rain forests are going to become prairies or deserts. What is gained in the North will be more than lost to desert in the South. Look at a globe, the area closer to the poles is a lot smaller than the area closer to equator.

      The record food production has more to do with new genetically developed plants and growing methods than anything else.

      For the very young and the elderly air conditioning can be a matter of survival. There is a reason why the population in the deep South did not start to climb until home air conditioning became practical.

      The current CO2 level is already 30% higher than the maximum possible to allow the Milankovitch cycle to take the planet back to another glacial period. No more growing glaciers for the forseeable future on this planet. Just rising oceans.

      • JH

        ” There is a reason why the population in the deep South did not start to climb ”

        Because of endemic yellow fever that was controlled by draining swamps and wetlands near cities only after about 1910 – when health officials on the Panama Canal proved the effectiveness of removing standing water in preventing mosquito-borne disease.

        • mbkeefer

          The population in the cities of the deep South did not really take off until practical home air conditioning was available.

  • Ray Del Colle

    Switching to renewable energy will stimulate the economy, create jobs, save money and clean up the environment. “From Hawaii to Antarctica, data collected from all over the world tell us one thing: Carbon pollution is going up.”

    • Buddy199

      You do realize that the major sources of renewable energy are nuclear, hydro dams and carbon producing biomass, even in renewable-pioneering Norway.



ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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