It's getting to be a familiar storyline of late: We've got a new "hottest year on record" in the books for planet Earth. Both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agree that 2014 set the mark, though they differ slightly in the specifics—it was either 1.22 or 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, reports AP. The record-keeping goes back to 1880, but the 10 warmest years have been logged since 1997, notes the New York Times. The record surpasses the previous mark set in 2010 and marks 38 straight years of above-average temperatures.
“Obviously, a single year, even if it is a record, cannot tell us much about climate trends,” says an expert at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “However, the fact that the warmest years on record are 2014, 2010, and 2005 clearly indicates that global warming has not ‘stopped in 1998,’ as some like to falsely claim.” The western half of North America, Europe, and eastern Australia were among the hot spots on land, reports LiveScience, while the northern Pacific in particular registered high ocean surface temperatures, reports the Guardian. (Read more NOAA stories.)