Data relating to global temperatures has been published by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
It revealed that this year is likely to be one of the ten hottest on record since 1850, when instrumental climate records began.
Scientists are predicting that this decade will also be the warmest, with average temperatures for 2000 to 2009 already higher than those reported in the same period of the 90s and 80s.
The majority of countries experienced above-normal temperatures this year, with the exception of the USA and Canada, where cooler-than-average conditions were reported.
Side effects of the higher temperatures included severe droughts, floods and heat waves, which appeared to be more prevalent in southern South America, Australia and southern Asia, according to the organisation's figures.
China, Mexico and East Africa were cited as some of the worst drought-afflicted regions this year.
The release of these statistics coincides with the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference this week.
World leaders attending the event are hoping to reach a consensus on CO2 emissions reduction targets and global action to combat climate change.
Posted by Joseph Hutton