According to Scientific American:
Yes, 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded in the history of humankind (though admittedly, in the "big picture" of things, that's a short time frame--around 150 years or so).
This year will likely be the hottest on record for the planet, with global temperatures 1.03 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 1961-to-1990 average, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization.
But here's why this is important and why we should do something about it. It's part of a far bigger trend:
This would make 2014 the 38th consecutive year with an anomalously high annual global temperature.
Each year for the past 38 years--nearly 4 straight decades, the new year tops the other in temperature increase.
Clearly, that's a trend.
And it's not a trend sitting there, all by itself. Here's another, rather obvious result:
And satellite images show it, in case there are any disbelievers out there:
Other possible effects this could and will likely have in the future for us: