Thanks to a slew of soaring monthly temperatures, 2014 set a new record for the warmest year last year, but with two months to go, 2015 is already all but guaranteed to take that title. This is in large part due to September 2015 being the hottest September in recorded history.
A combination of elements—from greenhouse gasses to the presence of El Niño—have helped the temperature to rise an average of 1.62 degrees above the historical average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, the largest deviation from said average for any month of any year on record. More worrying is the fact that this is not an isolated incident: September is in a crowded field this year, with six of the 10 highest recorded temperature deviations all taking place in 2015. To put it in perspective, the last cold record was set in 1911, while 13 of the 15 warmest years on record have happened since 2000.
The above graph shows how far the other hottest years deviated from the global average, and it clearly shows 2015 is a front-runner for the title. Still not convinced? NASA puts the odds of 2015 being the hottest year yet at 93 percent. These trends are “a clear signal” of the underlying warming trend, according to Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist at the National Center for Environmental Information.