Last year was hot!

According to two American government agencies, NASA and NOAA, 2014 was the warmest year recorded since 1880. Both these agencies monitor global surface temperatures, amongst other things. The year 2014 was 0.04°C (0.07°F ) warmer than the previous record breaking hottest years of 2005 and 2010. The 10 warmest years that have ever been recorded have all occurred since 1998.

Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8°C (1.4°F ) over the last 135 years. Many scientists believe that the Earth has gotten warmer because of an increase in greenhouse gases created by some of our activities. Carbon dioxide and a few other gases such as methane, ozone, and nitrous oxide are called greenhouse gases because they help create something called “the greenhouse effect”. This is what keeps the Earth warm – without these gases, our planet would have been much colder. However, human activity has now driven up the production of these greenhouse gases. For example, when our car runs on petrol, it is producing carbon dioxide. When our computer runs at home, it needs electricity, which we get from a power plant. Many of the power plants burn fossil fuels, and that in turn produces more carbon dioxide. For comparison purposes, the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere was about 280 parts per million in 1880 and now is over 390 parts per million. The larger amount of greenhouse gases is making our planet warmer than its usual state, causing global warming.

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration and NOAA stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Here are videos about 2014 being the warmest year and climate change.

 

 

Did you know?

Even our livestock (their poop, burps, and flatulence) add to greenhouse gas emissions.

Image Credits: http://www.nasa.gov/ for Earth’s image, http://nems.nih.gov/ for gas emission image
Sources: http://www.nasa.gov/, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/, http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/, http://www.fao.org/, http://gizmodo.com/