2013 was earth's fourth warmest year on record

The Earth had its fourth warmest year on record last year — tied with 2003, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Tuesday.

New data on 2013 global temperatures released by NOAA said 2013 marked the 37th consecutive year that the annual global temperature was above average.

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A statement released by NOAA says 2010 still holds the record for the warmest year. And nine out of the 10 warmest years in the 134-year period of records were set in the 21st century.

Temperatures in North America were above average in 2013 as well. Despite the recent polar vortex, NOAA says the U.S. and Canada experienced warmer than average winters in 2013.

NASA released new data in conjunction with NOAA on Tuesday but had a slightly different analysis.

According to NASA scientists, 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year on record. Still, a top climate scientist said the data shows a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.

"Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change," said Gavin Schmidt, a Goddard Institute for Space Studies climatologist, in a statement.

"While one year or one season can be affected by random weather events, this analysis shows the necessity for continued, long-term monitoring."

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