2014: The world’s hottest year on record

01/16/15 10:35 AM—UPDATED 01/16/15 10:52 AM

By Michele Richinick

The results are in: 2014 was the hottest year on record.

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) released a new report Friday that declared 2014 as the Earth’s warmest year yet. The globally averaged temperature for land and ocean surfaces was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880. The average temperature surpassed the previous records in 2005 and 2010 by 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit.

The first nine months of 2014 averaged a global temperature of 58.72 degrees Fahrenheit. But in September alone, the planet averaged 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit, marking 2014 the hottest year for that month in 135 years.

During December, the combined temperature for global land and ocean surfaces was also the highest on record, 1.39 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.

The record warmth was spread around the world, with hot spots including the western United States, eastern Russia into western Alaska, parts of the interior of South America, and most of Europe stretching into northern Africa, according to the report.

NASA scientists reached the same conclusion as the NCDC data.

The United Nations’ 2014 Climate Summit convened last September at its headquarters in New York City. There, President Barack Obama made public a new executive order and other government initiatives intended to combat the threat of climate change. The most significant policy is an executive order requiring that federal agencies acknowledge environmental sustainability when they design new international development programs.

The new report on Friday comes just months after hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in New York City for the largest mobilization against climate change ever. Attendees from as far as Zimbabwe and the Philippines said they had experienced the effects of climate change and pollution firsthand and demanded that global leaders take action.