2014 was Earth’s hottest year on record, Japan says

2014 was the warmest year on Earth since temperature records began more than a century ago, Japan’s weather agency said.

The average annual surface temperature was 0.27 degrees Celsius (0.48 degrees Fahrenheit) above the baseline 1981-2010 average, the highest it has been since 1891, the Japan Meteorological Agency said in preliminary data released Monday.

Japan’s agency is the first major temperature monitoring institution to confirm what many climate scientists had expected last year.

The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was one such group, predicting in December that the year would be the warmest, which “confirms the underlying long-term warming trend.”

WMO had blamed the warming on record greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations of emissions in the atmosphere.

2014 took the hottest-year record away from 1998, when the El Nino event helped push temperatures higher than usual globally.

Separately, the United Kingdom’s Met Office said Monday that 2014 was the hottest year on record within the UK.

The UK’s mean temperature was 9.9 degrees Celsius (49.82 degrees Fahrenheit), 1.1 degrees Celsius (1.98 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 1981-2000 average.