An unprecedented rise in global ocean temperatures contributed toward making the summer of 2014 the hottest on record, according to a report published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The reading puts the entire year on track to become the hottest ever since records began.
From June through August, the average global temperature was 62.7 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.28 degrees higher than the 20th-century average. The global sea surface temperature was 1.17 degrees Fahrenheit above the previous century's average of 61.4 degrees, breaking the previous all-time high set in June. This, according to the report, made not only the month of August the hottest August since records began in 1880, it also made the summer of 2014 the hottest ever.
The report stated that record-high temperatures were reported not only during the summers in the northern hemisphere, but also during the winters in the southern hemisphere during the months of June, July and August. During these three months, the winters in the southern hemisphere were the fourth warmest on record.
“If 2014 maintains this temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year, it will be the warmest year on record,” the report said. “Overall, 26 countries across every continent except Antarctica had at least one station reporting a record high temperature for August.”
The report added that record-high as well as record-low temperatures were also reported in parts of the United States in August. Such temperature fluctuations seem to confirm earlier observations of extreme weather events by the NOAA and other climate research organizations.
The report came just a few days before a planned march in New York in which nearly 400,000 people and over 1,000 organizations are expected to participate to protest perceived government inaction against climate change. The march will take place ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit on Sept. 23.