A drop of water falls from a melting piece of ice on Argentina's Perito Moreno glacier near the city of El Calafate, in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz.
(Photo : Reuters)
Last year was one of the warmest years ever, proving that the planet is heating up almost on a yearly basis, according to NASA scientists.
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), located in New York, released a report this week on temperatures around the world in 2013.
"Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change," GISS climatologist Gavin Schmidt said, according to AFP. "While one year or one season can be affected by random weather events, this analysis shows the necessity for continued, long-term monitoring."
Last year marked the 37th consecutive year with higher than average global temperatures.
Besides 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record of temperatures have all occurred since 2000. Last year tied with 2006 and 2009 as the seventh warmest year since 1880, according to NASA.
The warmest years on record occurred in 2005, and 2010.
The average temperature last year was 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 14.6 Celsius, according to NASA. The average global temperature has increased about 1.4 degrees F since 1880.
"The long-term trends in climate are extremely robust," said Schmidt. "People have a very short memory when it comes to their own experience of weather and climate, and the only way that we can have a long-term assessment of what is going on is by looking at the data."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also released global figures for 2013 recently as well.
NOAA determined that 2013 was tied with 2003 as the fourth warmest year since 1880. The NOAA said the average temperature in 2013 was 1.12 degrees F, or 0.62 C, above the 20th century average of 57 degrees F, or 13.9 C, according to AFP.
A major difference between 2013 and other top years since 2000 is that last year had no El Nino effect to warm up the equatorial region. Many experts have predicted that El Nino will return in 2014, which could make this year hotter than last year.