That's a one-point-12-degree jump from the 20th century average of 57 degrees. The center indicates last year was the 34th consecutive year that the global temperature hit above average. The last below-average year was 1976.
David Easterling, chief of scientific services at the Asheville, North Carolina center, says the warm temperatures adds fuel to the notion of climate change. However, Cato Institute climatologist Pat Michaels disagrees. He says, quote, "We don't see much of a warming trend over the past 12 years.