1. The California drought - The NOAA blames a high-pressure system hovering above the region for the Golden State’s worst drought ever. California’s position as an agricultural juggernaut makes this event particularly devastating.
2. Heavy rains in China and Russia - Many towns in these two countries experienced the worst flooding in well over 100 years, and one town even saw half its annual rainfall in just one day.
3. Australia’s warmest year - 2.16 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the increase felt by Australians in 2013, making it their warmest year ever, and one which offered little relief after coming off of the country’s “Millenium Drought” - a decade long water shortage.
4. Arctic and Antarctic sea ice shrinking - Ice in both of these regions reached record-breaking lows, including during growth season in the Arctic, during which time the Arctic ice was at its six lowest point ever since record keeping began.
5. Typhoon Haiyan - The Philippines were devastated by this record-busting typhoon with winds of 195 miles per hour. 5,700 people died, and 11 million more were affected.