Scientists confirm 2013-2017 as hottest period in recorded history

It's officially been confirmed that the last five years were the hottest on record worldwide. 

New climate data released today reveals climate change could be behind recent extreme weather.

The earth is warming at an alarming rate according to a new climate study from the US, with last year one of the hottest years ever and that's even without El Niño. 

The grim findings come as no surprise to experts, with climate scientist James Renwick saying that while he isn't shocked, he thinks the population at large should be and need to be aware that "Climate change is looming large in all of our futures."

Global warming has been linked to polar ice melting, sea levels rising, stronger cyclones and fire seasons burning hotter and longer - like the wild fire that ravaged California last year. 

Key data findings from this study back this up:

  • 2013 to 2017 was the hottest five-year period ever recorded
  • 2017 was the third hottest year ever recorded
  • The 10 hottest years have all occurred since 1998
  • 17 of the 18 hottest years occurred this century

Experts say within 100 years Islands in the Pacific could disappear and in the future it'll be more about surviving changes than adapting to them.

Mr Renwick says world leaders need to stand by their promise to reduce greenhouse gases by 2050.

New Zealand isn't immune from the changes, NIWA says 2016 was our hottest year since 1909.