World’s hottest year puts pressure on governments

Posted on 20 Jan 2016 in

Responding to the confirmation from the UK Met Office, NASA and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that the global mean surface temperature in 2015 was the highest since records began in the 19th century, Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science, said:

“This shows that there is no room for complacency about climate change following the historic Paris Agreement last month. This announcement should put pressure on governments to urgently implement their commitments to act against climate change, and to increase the strength of their planned cuts in annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Even though last year’s global mean surface temperature was elevated by El Niño, the underlying warming trend is undeniable. Global warming is turning hot years into record-breaking years. The global mean surface temperature last year was more than 1 centigrade degree above its late 19th century level, which means we are already more than halfway towards the upper threshold set in the Paris Agreement of limiting warming to well below 2 centigrade degrees, and to no more than 1.5 degrees if possible. This warming is already affecting the climate around the world, including dangerous shifts in extreme weather events. For instance, the UK is becoming both warmer and wetter and has just experienced flooding due to record-breaking winter rainfall for the second time in three years. Those who claim that climate change is either not happening, or is not dangerous, have been conclusively proven wrong by the meteorological evidence around the world.”

For more information about this media release, please contact Ben Parfitt, or Bob Ward



  1. The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy ( is hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science. It is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council ( The Centre’s mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research.
  2. The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment ( was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (