New Zealand, India and the Arctic all experienced record warm years in 2016.
In all, scientists say humans have warmed the planet about 1 degree Celsius since around the time of the Industrial Revolution. "As important as marking that the record is yet again broken, we need to loudly mark what needs to be done to hold back such destruction: we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground". This is the fifth time in a dozen years that the globe has set a new annual heat record.
In the sea, the estimated average annual sea ice extent in the Arctic was about 10.15 million square kilometers in 2016, the smallest annual average ever recorded and continuing a trend of decline seen in recent years. The first eight months of 2016 all broke heat records. Every single US state saw warmer-than-average temperatures in 2016. The hotweather continued in regions of central and northern France with the highest temperature reaching 38 degrees Centigrade this week.
The space agency's data came from 6,300 weather stations, ships and buoys, and Antarctic research stations, which together measure both land and ocean temperatures.
Prior to 2014, temperature records were set in 2010 and 2005.
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At present, while scientists would expect 2017 to be quite warm relative to, say, a year in the 1990s, there has been little talk of a fourth record year in a row.
Since we started recording temperatures, 16 of the 17 hottest years have been since 2000.
"The warming is consistent with observations of greenhouse gasses, climate model projections and 150 years of known physics", David Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Penn State University, told The Washington Post.
It is the third year in a row the record has been beaten, with a combination of Carbon dioxide emissions and a strong El Niño weather event playing a role in the 2016 increase.
The global average temperature last year was 1.69 Fahrenheit (0.94 Celsius) above the 20th century average, and 0.07 degrees F (0.04 C) warmer than in 2015, the last record-setting year, according to NOAA.
This temperature chart, based on NASA data, shows temperature deviation from the 1951-1980 average per decade. We're only seeing these records because of greenhouse gases, not El Niño. But the announcement cemented for many researchers the worrying reality that global temperatures are continuing their inexorable upward climb.