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Scientists are predicting the loss of another major ice sheet in Antarctic by the end of the century. – Courtesy Photo

WASHINGTON: Global temperatures were above average for the 36th straight year in 2012 and the planet is likely to chalk up more record warm highs over the coming decade, US scientists said Tuesday.

The year 2012 marked the ninth or 10th warmest on record, depending on the measurement. Space agency Nasa put the average temperature at 14.6 Celsius (58.3 Fahrenheit), 0.6 degrees Celsius higher than in the 20th century.

Data released last week found that the continental United States experienced its warmest year on record in 2012.

However, several regions including parts of Alaska, western Canada, central Asia and the Antarctic were cooler.

James Hansen, director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said it was likely that an upcoming year would break the record high global temperature set in 2010.

“What we find is that the ocean is getting warmer — that shows that the planet is out of balance, there is more energy coming in than going out,” Hansen told reporters on a conference call.

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