Jan. 18 (UPI) -- For three consecutive years, the record for "hottest year in modern history" has been broken.
The record for hottest year has now been broken five times during the 21st century -- 2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Scientists began tracking global temperatures in 1880. Of the 12 hottest years on record, only one year from the 20th century, 1998, makes the list.
Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration conducted independent analyses of land and ocean surface temperature data and arrived at the same conclusion: 2016 was the hottest year on record.
Average ocean and land surface temperatures both set standalone records. The United States experienced its second hottest year on record, while North America experienced its hottest year ever. Every major continent experienced hotter than average temperatures.