Climate change advocates will be buoyed by data which has emerged from the US today.

So far, 2010 is the warmest year ever recorded.

The temperature data comes from two separate sources - the National Climatic Data Center and Nasa, according to a report on USA Today.

The climate centre (NCDC) reports that the Earth's combined land and ocean average surface temperature from January-April was 56 degrees fahrenheit - which is 1.24 degrees above the 20th-century average.

El Nino - a periodic natural warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean - is partly to blame for the unusual warmth, the report says.

Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies also reports that 2010, so far, is the warmest out of 130 years. Both NCDC and Nasa use data that goes back to 1880.

- NZ Herald staff