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2014: Year of Extremes

Warm weather and climate-related disasters made for a memorable year.

Across the globe, 2014 has been hot—with temps about 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than average, making it a contender for the warmest year on record. And that bump in mercury wreaked havoc in many places, like this highway in Alaska, where on one balmy day in January, a massive avalanche blocked road access to the city of Valdez. (Balmy in Alaska? In January? Well, it was the state's warmest January ever.)

Scorching temps of 109 degrees also dried out the land Down Under, while “a steroidal September monsoon” brought crushing rains to India and Pakistan. Can we attribute it all to climate change? Only time (and more data) will tell, but extreme weather is expected to become, well, more extreme as climate change progresses. 

Photo: Alaska Department of Transportation

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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