Last year ranks as the worldwide warmest since U.S. record keeping of surface temperatures began in 1880, according to separate analyses by NASA and NOAA. This occurred even though 2014 did not have a strong El Niño weather pattern in the tropical Pacific, a periodic phenomenon that heats the atmosphere and has boosted temperatures during previous global record temperature years, government scientists say. “Trends indicate that further record highs will occur in years to come,” says Gavin A. Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The 2014 average temperature exceeded the 20th-century average for the 18th consecutive year, NOAA says. In addition, NOAA’s Climate Extremes Index, which tracks precipitation, drought, and cyclone events, was 35% above the average of measures spanning the past 105 years.