Analysis shows that 2015 was the warmest year on record with average temperatures shattering the previous mark set in 2014.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): The January–December map of temperature anomalies shows that warmer-than-average temperatures occurred across the vast majority of the globe during 2015, combining to bring overall record warmth for 2015, at 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average. This easily surpasses the previous record set just last year by 0.16°C (0.29°F). The global temperatures were strongly influenced by the strong El Niño conditions that developed during the year. The 2015 temperature also marks the largest margin by which an annual temperature record has been broken. Prior to this year, the largest margin occurred in 1998, when the annual temperature surpassed the record set in 1997 by 0.12°C (0.22°F). Incidentally, 1997 and 1998 were the last years in which a similarly strong El Niño was occurring. The annual temperature anomalies for 1997 and 1998 were 0.51°C (0.92°F) and 0.63°C (1.13°F), respectively, above the 20th century average, both much lower than the 2015 temperature. Read the USDA/NRCS report here and the NOAA analysis here.