Gallery: 2010 hottest year in recorded history
Need some proof of climate change? Check out the graph above. NASA has released data which shows that 2010 was tied 2005 for the hottest average temperature over a year - despite a cold spell in December and strong cooling La Nina conditions in the Pacific in the second half of the year.
NASA scientists believe the immediate cause of the temperature rise is the melting of the Arctic icecap which "acts as a blanket" covering the warmer ocean below it. The average temperature in December in regions of northeast Canada were 18 degrees higher than normal in 2010.
This chart shows that temperatures are increasing higher in the northern hemisphere where 90 percent of the world's population lives.
Weather's colder in Europe? "One possibility is that the heat source due to open water in Hudson
Bay affected Arctic wind patterns, with a seesaw pattern that has
Arctic air downstream pouring into Europe,"said James Hansen director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
U.S. temperatures are rising in the past 40 years.
The maps show where the global temperatures increased the most in three of the warmest years in recorded history.
The Earth of the future? Alaska Forest Service member John McColgan photographed this Bitterroot National Forest forest fire in August 2010.
Credit: Alaska Forest Service/McColgan