Washington, Jan 19: In a twist to the claim that 2014 was the hottest year on record, NASA climate scientists now reportedly say that the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just "38 percent".
It is now emerging that the analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is subject to a margin of error, Daily Mail reported.
This means the space agency is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.
Last week, NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a preliminary analysis claiming that 2014 was the warmest since record-keeping began in 1880.
The findings were based on globally averaged temperature data collected from a network of land and water surface sensors.
The news made headlines the world over.
Now, according to Daily Mail, GISS's director Gavin Schmidt has admitted the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 percent.
"The NASA press release failed to mention that the alleged 'record' amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous 'warmest year', of just two-hundredths of a degree - or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C - several times as much," the report added.
Another analysis, from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project concluded that if 2014 was a record year, it was by an even tinier amount.
"Numerically, our best estimate for the global temperature of 2014 puts it slightly above (by 0.01C) that of the next warmest year (2010) but by much less than the margin of uncertainty," the BEST report said.