A government report released Wednesday says that 2015 was the warmest year in recorded history, across the globe, continuing a trend set the year before. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compiled the report, based on temperature readings from thousands of weather stations from all over the world.
This chart breaks down the findings:
(This graphic compares the year-to-date temperature anomalies for 2015 (black line) to what were ultimately the six warmest years on record: 2014, 2010, 2013, 2005, 2009, and 1998.)
In the United States, December was both the warmest and wettest on record, a distinction fueled in part, by a strong El Niño weather pattern this winter, according to the report. El Niños occur when unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean produces heat in the atmosphere. The main reason for the increased temperatures, according to NOAA scientists however, is greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.