The planet is warming up. According to newly released data from NOAA the average temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2014 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880 on our little third rock from the sun.

Earth's well-known "spread the warmth" campaign was not isolated to a specific region or hemisphere either. Even far east Russia (, a land usually locked in ice and known for its bitter wind chills, has found some unusual meltage.

The western United States set heat records along with Australia, parts of South America, and most of Europe stretching into northern Africa.

Alarmingly, in December 2014, ocean surface temps across the planet rose to set another all-time record, including large swaths of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans.

For us in the upper Midwest it's hard to fathom conversations and newscasts that warn of global warming when we are removing snow from our sidewalk on a balmy -9° day. But according to the world's climatologists, it's happening and much faster than predicted.

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