With the month of August registering as one of the hottest months on record, it's looking increasingly likely that 2015 will go down as the hottest year on record (since modern global temperature record keeping began back in 1880), according to the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (the keeper of these temperature records), Gavin Schmidt.
Considering that 2014 was/is the hottest year on record, that really doesn't seem to bode well for the state of future trends, does it?
Arctic sea ice trends don't seem to be too encouraging either, with the year on track to represent the fourth-lowest sea ice extent on record (back to the 1970s).
Climate Central provides more:
The monthly global temperature records kept by NASA show this August was the second hottest on record going back to 1880, only a hair behind August 2014. The summer as a whole was also the warmest. El Niño ramped up throughout the season, with the World Meteorological Organization and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) both declaring it a strong event within the last couple of weeks.
Winter was also the hottest on record according to NASA’s numbers, while spring tied with 2014 for second place (behind the spring of 2010). With El Niño expected to persist and remain strong through fall and winter, there is a good chance that the year as a whole will displace 2014 as the warmest year globally.
The aforementioned climate scientist, Gavin Schmidt, estimates an 87% chance that 2015 will end up as the hottest year yet on record. A separate researcher at NOAA recently put the odds at 99%, though, so perhaps Schmidt is simply being cautious with his statements.
At any rate, the western US pretty clearly has had one of its hottest years ever (possibly the hottest) -- California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington all saw considerably hotter than usual temperatures, and extensive wildfires + drought as well (these are currently ongoing). Europe also had record-shattering heat waves and record-warm months.