A boy played in front of St. Michael the Archangel Church surrounded by debris from Typhoon Haiyan in Basey, Philippines. Nearly half of last year’s biggest weather disasters were in Asia and the Pacific region, including Typhoon Haiyan, which killed at least 6,100 people.
Last year tied for the fourth-hottest year on record around the globe. 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.
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. Both agencies said nine of the 10 warmest years on record have happened in the 21st century. The hottest year was 2010, NOAA said. In the past 50 years, the world annual temperature has increased by nearly 1.4 degrees, NOAA said. Unlike 2012, much of the worst heat and biggest climate disasters last year were outside the U.S. Parts of central Asia, central Africa and Australia were record warm. Only a few places, including the central United States, were cooler than normal last year. Last year, the world had 41 billion-dollar weather disasters, the second-highest number behind only 2010, said insurance firm Aon Benfield.