With 2015 looking to be the hottest year on record, a new report released by Climate Central's World Weather Attribution program at the University of Reading puts the focus on global warming and its effect on the recent heat levels. The analysis points to the global warming caused by the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere as the biggest contributor and concludes that El Niño was only a small contributor.
"2015 is a climate milestone in several ways," said Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist from the University of Reading. "Atmospheric carbon dioxide has now passed 400 [parts per million] for the foreseeable future. It will also be the warmest year on record, primarily because of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, with CO2 being the main culprit."
While 2014 currently holds the record for the hottest global temperatures, this year's temperatures look to bring 2015 past it. Furthermore, with October being above average in terms of heat more than any other month in the last 135 years, scientists are focusing their sights on global warming as an important environmental issue.
"The state of the global climate in 2015 will make history as for a number of reasons," said Michel Jarraud, WMO's secretary-general. "2015 is likely to be the hottest year on record, with ocean surface temperatures at the highest level since measurements began. It is probable that the 1C Celsius threshold will be crossed. This is all bad news for the planet."
In addition to the high temperatures of 2015, a five-year analysis of 2011 to 2015 found that they have been the hottest on record and contained many extreme weather events that stemmed from climate change, according to the WMO. In fact, many of the WMO's expectations regarding floods, droughts and tropical storms stemming from climate change were in line with recent events, The Guardian reported.