The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that 2015 is officially Earth's hottest year on record.

Climate experts from the space agency have referred to global temperatures last year as "record-shattering". They also assert the continuing increase is mostly due to human-generated emissions. Since the late 19th century, the planet has warmed by 1 degree Celsius - a small number which has big implications, and is only going to grow.

Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman said the results are evidence that climate change is definitely happening right now, and commented the implications for an island nation like New Zealand are "disturbing" to have to consider.

"We need to be backing 100% clean, non-polluting energy and investing in renewable technology," said Dr Norman.

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"Instead, John Key is subsidising and encouraging new deep sea oil exploration. Even in the wake of the Paris climate conference, the Government is fawning over foreign oil companies and helping drive the very pollution that is threatening the places we live.

"Some of the first countries to bear the brunt of this warming will be the Pacific Islands. For New Zealand and our neighbours, NASA has delivered disturbing news."

Norman said there will be an increasing occurrence of extreme weather events on Earth including storms, floods and droughts in the future, specifically due to human-induced climate change.

"As the planet heats up further, melting glaciers and ocean acidification will lead to sea level rise, and coastal communities will be the first to go.

"The recent report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment showed that the increase in sea levels could force tens of thousands of New Zealand families out of their homes and cost tens of billions of dollars."

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