U.S. government scientists say data indicate that last year has tied for being the hottest year in the recorded history of temperatures on Earth's surface.
Researchers at the U.S. space agency NASA's Goddard Institute For Space Studies said on January 12 that 2010 finished in a statistical tie with 2005 for the warmest year on record since data started being systematically recorded in 1880.
Another U.S. government agency, the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration, said that 2010 and 2005 were 0.62 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average.
The agency added that 2010 also set a record for the wettest year recorded, as based on global average precipitation, though regional patterns varied widely.
Europe Assesses Natural, Man-Made Woes
Meanwhile, the European Union's environmental body says natural and man-made disasters in Europe cost nearly 100,000 lives and inflicted economic damage worth some 150 billion euros ($195 billion) from 1998-2009.
The European Environmental Agency (EAA) said that most fatalities were caused by the 2003 heatwave, which killed more than 70,000 people.
The Copenhagen-based organization said that flooding and storms caused most damage, together costing 96 billion euros ($124 billion dollars), while earthquakes cost 29 billion euros ($37.7 billion).
compiled from agency reports