2014 was officially the hottest year on record. According to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Earth was the hottest it has been in millennia and perhaps as much as 100,000 years. On top of record-breaking global surface temperatures, a record amount of heat was also found in the oceans. NOAA says that in 2014 the oceans accumulated an amount of heat equivalent to about 200 million atomic bomb detonations. In conjunction with the news that the earth is moving closer to ‘irreversible changes’ as humanity crosses four so-called planetary boundaries, this should be another massive wake-up call for political and business leaders meeting in Davos this week. Indeed, the World Resources Institute (WRI) is warning that soaring temperatures will soon have a heavy cost for business, while progressive companies are showing that turning down the heat makes financial and environmental sense. But as commentators have underlined, all companies need to be ambitious on climate action, turn their back on fossil fuels and join the 100 per cent renewable energy transition. Switching to renewables is a smart decision for business and the future of humanity.
MT @JohnMoralesNBC6 Record heat bad for business “If you’re < 30 global temp has been above average your whole life” http://onforb.es/1ABN3M6
Infographic to share: 2014: The hottest year ever
- 2014 was the Earth’s hottest year since records began in 1880. The news was announced this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. They conclude that the average temperature across both land and ocean surfaces was 0.69 degrees C above the twentieth century average. This beats both previous record warm years, 2005 and 2010, and even more worryingly the temperature rise happened without the influence of an El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, an occasional event linked with unusually warm periods.
- Experts are warning that increasing global temperatures are not only a threat to our way of life, but also to the way we do business. According to a blog post published by the World Resources Institute (WRI), this long-running record heat contributes to an expensive “new normal” for global businesses and national economies. WRI warns that shifting weather patterns and more extreme heat waves, storms and droughts fuelled by a changing climate raise business costs. On the other hand, there are economic benefits for those companies that decide to take firm climate action, as demonstrated by the recent New Climate Economy Report.
- Leading businesses pledged their commitment earlier this week to 100 per cent renewable power at the World Future Energy Summit. The IKEA Group, Nestlé and other major corporations announced they had joined RE100, a global campaign encouraging companies to use power exclusively from renewable energy sources. This is good news, but with new research warning that climate change, biodiversity loss and other human-induced changes have fundamentally changed how the planet functions, pushing the world into a “danger zone”, there is no time for delay. All companies should remember they have “a responsibility as citizens, not just as business leaders“.
2014 was the hottest year on record across the globe, US climate experts have confirmed. Analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA shows that last month was the warmest December on record, rounding off a year which saw temperature records set in September, May, June and August. Global average temperatures over land and sea in 2014 were 0.69C above the 20th century average, according to the data from NOAA.
The announcement follows similar findings from the Japanese Meteorological agency earlier this month, which showed a consensus by two of the world’s three main global weather data centres. Ocean temperatures in particular experienced record warmth, with seven consecutive months setting new records for surface ocean heat. December 2014 also represented the 358th consecutive month where the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was above average.
2014 as a whole was also the 38th consecutive year of above average temperatures. The year came in at 0.69C above the 20th century average, and and was 0.04C higher than the previous records set in 2005 and 2010, according to the data.
Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies said: “Any one year being a record warm one is not in itself particularly significant, but this is one in a series of record warm years that are driven by the continuing underlying long-term global warming. We expect that heat records will continue to get broken – not everywhere and not every year – but increasingly and that does not bode well for a civilisation that is continuing to add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at an increasing rate.”
The latest findings are likely to further spur calls from around the world for leaders to support strong climate action. Later this year, leaders from 192 countries will meet in Paris for the UN climate summit where they are expected to agreement a new global climate agreement to steer the world away from the critical danger threshold of 2C of warming and towards a low carbon energy future. With the world’s leading body of scientists warning we could cross that threshold within just 30 years without drastic cuts to emissions, this latest study adds further weight to the calls from NGOs and governments for a complete phase out of carbon emissions by the middle of the century.
Tools and Resources
- Hottest year on record ‘bad news for business’ (Edie)
- 2014 the hottest year since records began, climate experts confirm (Independent)
- 2014 was world’s hottest year on record (Telegraph)
- It’s official: 2014 was the hottest year (Washington Post)
- 2014 warmest year on record, say US researchers (BBC)
- Video: 134 years of warming in 30 seconds (NASA)
- Video: 2014: The hottest year ever (Climate Nexus)
- Infographic: 2014: The hottest year in recorded history (The Climate Council)
- Infographic: Businesses going 100% renewables (The Climate Group)
- Infographic: 9 ways to pull our planet back from the brink (WEF)
- Blog: Record breaking heat bad for business (World Resources Institute)
- Report: Annual global climate report (NOAA)
- Blog: 2014 Was The Hottest Year Since At Least 1880, Government Finds (Huffington Post)
- Report: The journey to 100% renewables (Climate Group)
- Infographics: Global warming made 2014 a record hot year – in animated graphics (Guardian)
- Blog: Climate change: What are the risks to corporations? (Fortune)
- Blog: 9 ways to pull our planet back from the brink (WEF)
- Blog: How we’re pushing the world into a “danger zone” (WEF)
- “Any one year being a record warm one is not in itself particularly significant, but this is one in a series of record warm years that are driven by the continuing underlying long-term global warming. We expect that heat records will continue to get broken – not everywhere and not every year – but increasingly and that does not bode well for a civilisation that is continuing to add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at an increasing rate.” – Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies
- “The investment community—along with regulators—has woken up to this threat. It is demanding more information from companies about their exposure to climate events, as well as the prospective cost of their carbon emissions.”– Neeraj Sahai, president of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services
- Renewables growth pushes down EU power sector emissions
- Global energy transition surges as renewables funding grows
- Study shows keeping most coal in the ground is the only way to contain climate change
- Another Climate Warning: 2014 Declared hottest year on record
- Renewables records show world ready for climate action in 2015
- MT @climaterisk 2014, the hottest year on record, business leaders thinking about the range of risks moving forward http://reut.rs/1sS36HW
- MT @michaeloko It’s official: 2014 is the hottest year on record. WRI’s take on what this means for business. http://onforb.es/1ABN3M6
- MT @ClimateGroup “We should not forget that we all have a responsibility as citizens, not just as business leaders” IKEA CSO @_StephenHoward