Heatwave in Rio

The Brazilian city is sweltering at the start of 2015, after 2014 was declared the warmest year, globally, on record

Heatwave conditions have been affecting southeastern Brazil since the beginning of 2015. This comes after 2014 was declared the warmest, globally, since records began in 1880.

The findings from the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) support earlier conclusions from both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the UK Met Office.

The data confirms that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred since the turn of this century.

That 2014 was a record-breaker is rather surprising, considering that there was little or no sign of an El Nino – a warming of the surface layers of the Pacific, which would have added to the warming of the atmosphere.

The UK Met Office has predicted that 2015 is likely to be even warmer than 2014. If so, this would suggest an increase in the rate of warming which has been slower since 2000 than in the 1980s and 1990s.

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