The Earth had its 4th-warmest year on record in 2013, equaling the level set in 2003, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Tuesday.
The average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.12 degrees above the 20th-century average and marks the 37th consecutive year (since 1976) that the annual temperature was above the long-term average.
All of the top 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998. The warmest year on record was 2010, NOAA reported.
Global temperature records go back to 1880.
This was one of the warmest years on record that did not include the warming influence of an El Nino climate pattern, according to Thomas Karl, director of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.
While most of the world had warmer-than-average year, some areas were cooler than average year, Karl said, including parts of the central USA, which was the only land area where that occurred.
NASA, using different methods of analyzing the data than NOAA, reported Tuesday that 2013 was tied as 7th-warmest year on record.
For the second consecutive year, global annual precipitation was near average for land-based rain gauges, NOAA reported. Precipitation for 2013 was just 0.01 inch above the 1961–1990 average of 40.7 inches.
The worst global weather disaster in 2013 was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 5,700 people as it lashed the Philippines in November.