Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

15 Extreme Weather Events That Rocked the Planet in 2015

Climate
15 Extreme Weather Events That Rocked the Planet in 2015

Scientists are already all but certain that 2015 will be the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record, which was set just last year. The last five years make up the hottest five-year period on record and 13 of the 14 hottest years on record all occurred this century.

The world marked some other unprecedented milestones in modern history this year. Greenhouse gas concentrations surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for an entire month this past spring. "We will soon be living with globally averaged carbon dioxide levels above 400 parts per million as a permanent reality,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said last month.

This year is also the first time global mean temperature at the Earth’s surface is set to reach 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The scientific community holds that we must keep global greenhouse gas concentrations below 350 ppm and warming below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

All of that extreme heat has resulted in some very extreme weather. Heat waves gripped Europe, North Africa, Asia and the Middle East in the spring and summer of 2015. India and Pakistan in particular saw deadly heat waves. And many places experienced unusual rainfall patterns.

And scientists are already predicting 2016 is likely to be even hotter than 2015.

Watch this video from Climate Nexus to see some of the most extreme weather of 2015:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Will This Christmas Be the Warmest of Your Lifetime?

Interactive Map: Find Out Which Country Is Most Responsible for Climate Change

The Fraudulent Science at COP21 Exposed

Michael Pollan: It’s Time to Put Carbon Back Into the Soil

A sea turtle rescued from Israel's devastating oil spill. MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP via Getty Images

Rescue workers in Israel are using a surprising cure to save the sea turtles harmed by a devastating oil spill: mayonnaise!

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A "digital twin of Earth." European Space Agency

As the weather grows more severe, and its damages more expensive and fatal, current weather predictions fall short in providing reliable information on Earth's rapidly changing systems.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Melting ice in places such as Greenland could stop a critical ocean current. Paul Souders / Getty Images

The climate crisis could push an important ocean current past a critical tipping point sooner than expected, new research suggests.

Read More Show Less
California Gov. Gavin Newsom tours the Chevron oil field west of Bakersfield, where a spill of more than 900,000 gallons flowed into a dry creek bed, on July 24, 2019. Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

Accusing California regulators of "reckless disregard" for public "health and safety," the environmental advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday sued the administration of Gov. Gavin Newsom for approving thousands of oil and gas drilling and fracking projects without the required environmental review.

Read More Show Less
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Kenyan professor Wangari Maathai poses during the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 15, 2009. Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty Images

By Kate Whiting

From Greta Thunberg to Sir David Attenborough, the headline-grabbing climate change activists and environmentalists of today are predominantly white. But like many areas of society, those whose voices are heard most often are not necessarily representative of the whole.

Read More Show Less