2015 was the hottest year globally on record by far, a new report released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has confirmed.
The WMO Statement on the Status of the Climate provides details of last year’s record-breaking land and sea surface temperatures, unabated ocean warming and sea level rise, shrinking sea ice extent, and extreme weather events around the world.
Global temperatures were a staggering 0.76°C above the 1960-1990 average, and 1°C above the pre-industrial era – halfway to the 2°C limit that we need to adhere to in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
As well as smashing temperature records, 2015 marked the highest recorded global sea level.
The combination of powerful El Niño conditions and the long-term rise in global temperatures also meant that 2015 was a year of extreme weather events worldwide.
Nations sweltered through extremely intense heatwaves, leading to thousands of deaths in India and Pakistan. Extremely dry conditions also increased the severity of multi-year droughts in Brazil and Southern Africa.
In addition to this, flooding caused by extreme precipitation levels affected tens of thousands of people in West Africa, South America and Europe. Meanwhile in the US, numerous severe snowstorms led to several North-Eastern states experiencing their snowiest winter ever.
You can read the full WMO report here or read more about 2015’s record-breaking heat in our report.
Preview image credit: Flickr user UNICEF Ethiopia licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0