BACK in February 1985, The Heat Is On by rock legend Glenn Frey was near the top of the music charts and has unwittingly become something of an anthem for the global climate ever since.
Last month capped 30 years in which average monthly temperatures worldwide have been warmer than the average for the 20th century. That's 360 consecutive months.
And that warming trend, which scientists say is mostly the result of a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, remains strong - although there are finally signs that carbon emissions may be peaking.
February 2015 was either second or third warmest on record for the month, depending on US or Japanese government data. It was also warm enough to make the past 12 months the hottest such period in records going back to 1880, according to US space agency NASA, and comes after 2014 was declared the warmest calendar year recorded.
For Australia, one has to go back even earlier than Frey's hit song to find a hotter February. Last month was pipped only by February 1983 in terms of both average maximum or mean temperature, according to Bureau of Meteorology records going back to 1910.
Malte Meinshausen, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne's school of earth sciences, said 30 years is a common period used by climate scientists to gauge trends beyond natural variations.
"We had a warming trend detected all through the 20th century ... and then it really kicked off in the 1970s," Professor Meinshausen said.
Global surface temperatures have been rising at about 0.2 degrees a decade, and recent research predicts that rate is accelerating, he said.
Climate change will likely remain a key issue this year, with international talks scheduled for Paris, France, for late this year to hammer out a new global treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale on Monday blamed climate change for enhancing the power of Cyclone Pam that slammed his Pacific island nation over the weekend. Scientists say warming will increase the likelihood of more powerful storms.
If February marked 30 years of consecutive warm months, there was a more positive development with the International Energy Agency declaring over the weekend that 2014 was the first year in the past 40 in which carbon emissions didn't grow.
According to the agency, carbon dioxide emissions totalled 32.3 billion tonnes last year, unchanged from 2013 even as the global economy expanded about three per cent.
"This is both a very welcome surprise and a significant one," International Energy Agency (IEA) chief economist Fatih Birol said in a statement. "It provides much needed momentum to negotiators preparing to forge a global climate deal in Paris in December: for the first time, greenhouse gas emissions are decoupling from economic growth."
Professor Meinshausen said the stall in emissions was "at least a start".
"It's the entry requirement for whatever low-carbon future we want to see," he said
Should greenhouse gas emissions remain at the current annual level, however, the world will likely warm three to four degrees by 2100 compared with pre-industrial levels.
"We have to aim for zero net CO2 emissions by the second half of the 21st century," Professor Meinshausen said.