Last year was the hottest on record for global land masses, with temperatures almost 2 degrees warmer than usual, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scorching heat waves socked Asia, Europe and the USA, where 2,000 daily temperature peaks were busted. It's an undeniable trend with seven of the world's warmest-ever years on record occurring since 2001, scientists say.
"There's no denying that climate change is occurring, and warmer winters and warmer years are more common for that reason," said a climatologist with the National Climatic Data Center, who added that unusual warmth in the Arctic resulted in the lowest amount of sea ice ever recorded. For the whole Earth, including oceans, it was the fifth-warmest on record.