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2014 'one of warmest on record'

Analysis by UK climate experts has ranked 2014 as one of Earth's warmest years in records dating back to 1850.

Data compiled by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit found that globally temperatures were 0.56C above the long-term average, putting 2014 joint hottest year with 2010.

But the Met Office said that due to uncertainties in the figures, which are compiled from around 1,600 observation sites on land and from ships and buoys at sea, it was not possible to say which of several recent years was the warmest overall.

The figures, which form one of three major assessments of global temperatures, come after the other two analyses by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Nasa both showed 2014 was the hottest in records dating back to 1880.

The latest analysis shows that 2014 is the most recent in a series of very warm years, which the Met Office has said would be highly unlikely if humans were not affecting the climate through activities such as burning fossil fuels.

Colin Morice, climate monitoring scientist at the Met Office, said: "Uncertainties in the estimates of global temperature are larger than the differences between the warmest years. This limits what we can say about rankings of individual years.

"We can say with confidence that 2014 is one of 10 warmest years in the series and that it adds to the set of near-record temperatures we have seen over the last two decades."

Dr Peter Stott, head of climate attribution at the Met Office, said: "It's important to look over long time-scales to see how human influence has affected global climate.

"Looking at three decades or more, we can observe a clear warming trend which is reflected in the near-record temperatures we have seen in recent years."

The Met Office has already announced that 2014 was the hottest year for the UK in records dating back to 1910, and was also the warmest in the Central England Temperature series, the longest-running temperature record in the world, dating back to 1659.


From Belfast Telegraph