The year 2014 ranks as the hottest year since records began in 1880 according to NASA.
Research also shows that the ten warmest years on record have happened since 2000 (with the exception of 1998), climate scientists says this points to a trend in long-term warming of the planet.
“Humans are contributing by burning fossil fuels,” says NASA climate scientist John Tucker.
“We have an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – and that is a greenhouse gas because it traps the outgoing, longwave radiation and warms the atmosphere and warms the earth and warms the oceans.
“What we all hope is that all of the observations which we collect will be interpreted by our leaders and they will realize that it’s important to have a constant climate on the planet. This is very important for our civilisation.”
NASA’s findings confirm the Japan Meterological Agency’s analysis that 2014 was the hottest year on record with their records dating back to 1891.
The announcement comes as climate negotiators struggle to agree on CO2 emission limits heading into crucial talks in Paris later this year.
If warming continues on the current trajectory, scientists predict the world will warm by 4-5 degrees celsius by 2100, a situation they say would be catastrophic.