Weather & Natural Disasters

November of 2015 was hottest on record

Last month was the world's warmest November in recorded weather history, according to figures released by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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The high temperatures continue a trend that's likely to establish 2015 as the warmest year ever recorded.

The global average temperature last month was warmer by 1.05 degrees Celsius than the overall average global temperature for the years 1880-2015, according to the Land-Ocean Temperature Index published by NASA. That marks only the second time the monthly index has climbed more than 1 degree above the average since 1880, which was when record-keeping began. The first time it happened was the month prior, in October of this year, when the global average temperature was 1.06 C above the average.

The World Meteorological Organization predicted in late November that the global average surface temperature will be the highest it has ever been. The WMO attributes this to both human-induced global warming and the El Nino climate pattern, which is ongoing.

Also in November, the agency conducted a five-year analysis and found the period from 2011 to 2015 to be the hottest five-year period ever recorded.

"The record high temperatures in the five-year period 2011-15, along with the annual record set in 2014 and likely to be broken in 2015, are consistent with established long-term warming trends, the dominant cause of which is the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases," the report said. Anthropogenic means greenhouse gases caused by human activity. "Year-to-year temperature changes occur in conjunction with the long-term warming trend, in particular as a result of El Nino and La Nina events."

A few weeks later, the trend has continued in many parts of the United States.

Temperatures have been particularly high in the Northeast; daily high temperatures in New York City were still climbing above 60 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday, though they are beginning to cool.

Further fueling the unseasonably warm temperatures are other climate patterns, including a strongly positive Arctic Oscillation, as NOAA's Mike Halpert told CNBC last week.

While the world's temperature is rising overall, weather has been significantly colder recently in some parts of the United States. A winter storm swept across much of the West and Rocky Mountain states, dumping more than 30 inches of snow in Montana and Wyoming, and well above 20 inches elsewhere, according to