The graphic above illustrates how hotter ocean and atmospheric temperatures drive any number of dangerous and destructive weather events and climate trends. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared 2014 Earth’s warmest year on record. The Japan Meteorological Agency had the same finding last week. Today, NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies has provided further confirmation. The UK’s Hadley Center will come out soon with yet another series of data, undoubtedly showing the same thing. (Here is an excellent explanation from them of how these records are compiled and interpreted.)
There has been no particular El Niño associated with this year’s warming. Gavin Schmidt, the head of the Goddard Institute, was reported here to have said that the next time a strong El Niño occurs, it is likely to blow away all temperature records.
For a clear summary from the GISS, see this video: