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2014 To Be Warmest Year On Record, U.N. Weather Agency Says

Marina owner Mitzi Richards carries her granddaughter in September as they walk on their boat dock at the dried up lake bed of Huntington Lake in California, which was at only 30 percent capacity as a severe drought continued. The state was in the grip of its third year of severe drought, the worst in decades. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Marina owner Mitzi Richards carries her granddaughter in September as they walk on their boat dock at the dried up lake bed of Huntington Lake in California, which was at only 30 percent capacity as a severe drought continued. The state was in the grip of its third year of severe drought, the worst in decades.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

This year is on track to become the warmest on record, with average global temperatures 1.03 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1961-1990 average, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization. That would make 2014 the 38th consecutive year with above normal temperatures.

The WMO says in a statement that the situation in 2014 is a result mainly of "record high global sea surface temperatures, which will very likely remain above normal until the end of the year. High sea temperatures, together with other factors, contributed to exceptionally heavy rainfall and floods in many countries and extreme drought in others."

Scientific American says the U.N. report "uses data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA and the United Kingdom's Met Office. To place the findings in a historical context, scientists usually compare temperatures with 'normal' temperatures averaged over a 30-year stretch, usually 1961 to 1990."

The magazine says:

"Driving the temperature rise in 2014 were the oceans — the Pacific, the polar and subtropical north Atlantic, parts of the south Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean all experienced the warmest temperatures ever recorded. Global sea surface temperatures were 0.45 degree Celsius above the 1961-90 normal."

"On land, temperatures were 0.86 C above normal."

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As we reported in October, September was also, on average, the hottest on record, according to meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.