Quantcast

15 Extreme Weather Events That Rocked the Planet in 2015

Climate

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Catherine Flessen / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Non-perishable foods, such as canned goods and dried fruit, have a long shelf life and don't require refrigeration to keep them from spoiling. Instead, they can be stored at room temperature, such as in a pantry or cabinet.

Read More
Tero Vesalainen / iStock / Getty Images

By Julia Ries

  • Two flu strains are overlapping each other this flu season.
  • This means you can get sick twice from different flu strains.
  • While the flu vaccine isn't a perfect match, it's the best defense against the flu.

To say this flu season has been abnormal is an understatement.

Read More
Sponsored
Pexels

By Andrew Joseph Pegoda

At least 40 percent to 90 percent of American voters stay home during elections, evidence that low voter turnout for both national and local elections is a serious problem throughout the U.S.

Read More
Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images

By Alina Petre, MS, RD

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for optimal health.

Read More
Plastic waste that started as packaging clogs tropical landfills. apomares / iStock / Getty Images

By Clyde Eiríkur Hull and Eric Williams

Countries around the world throw away millions of tons of plastic trash every year. Finding ways to manage plastic waste is daunting even for wealthy nations, but for smaller and less-developed countries it can be overwhelming.

Read More