World Facts

The Hottest Years on Record

According to the NOAA, the majority of the word's hottest years have been in the past ten years.

Meteorologists are responsible for recording climatic and weather conditions all over the world. Temperature is one of the significant conditions and records indicate variations from year to year. Through instrumental temperature record, earth’s climatic system temperatures are obtained whereby both oceanic and surface air temperatures are recorded. Besides, it contains historical data which indicates temperature records over many years.

Hottest Years on Record

As per metrological records around the world, global temperatures have shown variations with some years recording higher temperatures as compared to others. The last ten years have seen a rise in global temperatures. Some of the hottest years were 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The years 1998, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 also recorded high temperatures.

The year 2016, with a temperature deviation of 0.94°C, is considered to be the hottest year on record. 2015 and 2017 came close in second and third respectively with temperature deviations of 0.9°C and 0.84°C respectively. 2014’s temperature deviation of 0.74°C made a constant rise in global temperatures from 2014 to 2016. Only 2017 recorded the initial fall in temperatures which had been experienced continuously from 2014, spanning through 2015 and 2016.

2010 had a temperature deviation of 0.7°C. As a result, it is considered the fifth hottest year on record and is followed by the year 2013, which recorded a temperature deviation as high as 0.66°C, making it the sixth warmest year on record. The other years include 2005, 2009, 1998, and 2012, which are considered as seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth hottest years on record. The temperature deviations of these years, 2005, 2009, 1998, and 2012, was 0.65°C, 0.64°C, 0.63°C, and 0.62°C respectively

Causes of High Temperatures

As noted above, most of the years recording high temperatures are within the past decade. Thus, there is an indication that factors influencing the rise in temperatures may not have been there many years ago. The increase in global temperatures is caused by many factors. Among the significant factors behind the rising temperatures on earth are the greenhouse gases. The most common of these gases are the chlorofluorocarbons and the carbon dioxide gases.

Greenhouse gases are responsible for the absorption of heat from the atmosphere and retain it over long periods. It is estimated that greenhouse gases raise global temperatures by about 15°C; thus, the absence of these gases would have resulted to an average temperature on the earth’s surface at -18°C, which is 0°F.

Another factor which leads to the rise in global temperatures is the natural conditions of volcanic eruptions and El Nino. Emissions from volcanic eruptions may remain in the atmosphere for a long time; which results in trapping heat. Also, solar activity may affect the rise in global temperatures since heat emitted by the sun may vary according to earth’s position to that of the sun.

Future Trends in Global Temperatures

Since a significant rise in temperatures have been recorded in recent years, it can be concluded that there is a high probability of higher temperatures in future. Increased industrialization and cases of deforestation may lead to increased greenhouse gases. Technological advancements in agriculture through mechanization and excessive use of fertilizers will aggravate the situation. Also, atmospheric pollution will lead to the weakening of the ozone layer, thus allowing the sun’s ultra-violet rays into the earth’s atmosphere. Such conditions will lead to global warming which is a condition of excess heat all over the world and has adverse effects on life.

The Hottest Years on Record

RankYearTemperature Deviation (Celsius)
120160.94
220150.90
320170.84
420140.74
520100.70
620130.66
720050.65
820090.64
919980.63
1020120.62

More in World Facts