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Earth shatters warming records, 2015 hottest 'by far'

Earth shatters warming records, 2015 hottest 'by far' - Earth was blanketed by blistering heat last year making 2015 the the hottest year in modern times 'by far.'

The report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that 2015 was not only the warmest worldwide since 1880, it also broke the previous record held in 2014 by a comfortable amrgin.

"During 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 Celsius) above the 20th century average," said the NOAA report. "This was the highest among all years in the 1880-2015 record."

Compared to 2014, last year was 0.29 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, the "largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken."

World's premier space agency NASA, which uses a fleet of satellites and weather stations to monitor global climate, confirmed that 2015 was indeed the warmest year so far. According to the California-based space agency, the temperature changes are largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions.

"Climate change is the challenge of our generation," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "Today's announcement not only underscores how critical NASA's Earth observation program is, it is a key data point that should make policymakers stand up and take notice - now is the time to act on climate."

"Since 1997, which at the time was the warmest year on record, 16 of the subsequent 18 years have been warmer than that year," said the NOAA report. In 2015, 10 months had record high temperatures for their respective months.

The increase in temperature was felt across the globe, with unprecedented warmth covering much of Central America and the northern half of South America.