Last year was the fifth hottest year ever recorded worldwide, and second hottest recorded in the U.S., despite a La Niña weather pattern that was supposed to cool off the Earth slightly, according to new figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Globally, the 1990s were the hottest decade ever recorded; each year of the 1990s ranks among the 15 hottest years since 1880, when record-keeping began. The recent data is finally convincing even some climate skeptics, like NASA climate scientist Roy Spencer. “When you have a very warm year that occurs during a La Niña, that makes it more difficult to argue against the reality of global warming,” Spencer said.