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2015 breaks heat records: NASA confirms

THE push for action on climate change is heating up after the release of new data showing global temperatures in 2015 to be the hottest on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA have confirmed 2015 broke heat records.

Last year the average temperature across the planet was 0.90 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average, the NOAA said.

This was the highest on record and also the largest margin by which the annual global temperature record had been broken.

Last year also marks the fourth time a global annual temperature record has been set this century.

A report by the Climate Council, which analysed the data in an Australian context, said 2015 had been a horror year for extreme heat, bushfires and storms.

The Hottest Year on Record (Again) report said the global heat data highlighted the need for Australia to have a robust plan to tackle climate change.

The Climate Council's Professor Will Steffen said unseasonably early heatwaves across the country, driven by climate change and a strong El Nino event, caused an early outbreak of the bushfire season and major agricultural losses.

"The sheer number of records broken in 2015 is staggering and is more clear evidence of a climate on steroids," he said.

"This marks the fourth time in the 21st century a new record high annual temperature has been set and also marks the 39th consecutive year that the annual temperature has been above the 20th century average."

The announcement of a global heat record follows last month's climate change conference in Paris.

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