The average world temperature was 58.12 degrees, tying with 2003 for the fourth warmest since 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday.
At the same time, NASA, which calculates records in a different manner, ranked last year as the seventh warmest on record, with an average temperature of 58.3 degrees. The difference is related to how the two agencies calculate temperatures in the Arctic and other remote places and is based on differences that are in the hundredths of a degree, scientists said.
Both agencies said nine of the 10th warmest years on record have happened in the 21st century. The hottest year was 2010, according to NOAA.
The reports were released as a big snowstorm was hitting the U.S. East Coast.
“There are times such as today when we can have snow even in a globally warmed world,” said Gavin Schmidt, deputy director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York. “But the long-term trends are not going to disappear... Quite frankly, people have a very short memory when it comes to climate and weather”