This was the hottest year for global temperatures ever recorded. Temperatures for 2015 were 1.62 F / .C . Two degrees on average above the normal surface temperature. 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded since 1880 when scientists began measuring the earths surface temperature. And it broke the record with a higher margin than ever before. Measurements are taken from thousands of test sites from all over the world.
Extreme weather patterns are happening around the globe. Some of the worlds heat breaking records were in areas of typically cooler weather. The Soviet Union, Canada and Alaska (USA) all saw sharp increases in temperatures. This year saw a significant decline in ice pack melt from the Arctic Ocean and snow melt in the Arctic land regions. Both contribute to greater global warming as the oceans act as a sink for warm air and less snow means more exposed land to absorb sunlight.
One of the reasons we are seeing such a strong surge of heat is this years powerful El Nino, a warm band of ocean water located in the Pacific Ocean. El Nino, which releases heat into our lower atmosphere caused many powerful and disruptive storms in 2015. Extreme weather continues this year with drought in southern Africa and Australia and tropical storms in Indonesia. Some scientists believe this past years heat was so high due to a strong El Nino pattern.
Scientists are predicting a repeat of last year making 2016 even warmer.
And cheaper than ever gas.
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