(KTEN) -- We started 2021 with the February winter storm and rounded out the year with the hottest December ever on record in Texoma. But, we weren't alone.

From record-breaking heat waves in Canada to deadly December tornadoes in the Midwest, 2021 was a year full of extreme weather events. 

But why is this happening? NASA and NOAA have released the latest global temperature update for 2021 and Meteorologist Amber Nowaski sat down with Bridget Seegar, a NASA Oceanographer, to learn more. 

"So it was the sixth hottest year on record," said Seegar. "And to put that in context we're going back 140 years, so our temperature record starts in 1880. So this was the sixth, and eight out of the past eight years have been the warmest. So we're definitely seeing a warming trend."  

In fact, global temperatures for 2021 were 1.5 degrees fahrenheit above average from NASA's baseline period from 1951 to 1980. So, how does this warming trend have an impact on weather? 

"The warming temperature is basically a way to put a lot of energy into the atmosphere and that's going to change the types of events we're seeing," responded Seegar. "Typically we think of it as seeing the extremes get even more extreme. So, if you're going to have a rain event... now that it's a little bit warmer, you have more evaporation. That means when it rains, it's going to rain more intensely and we can end up with flooding. If you have an area that tends to be dry, it's going to be hotter, drier, the soil's going to dry out, and you're going to end up with worse drought conditions." 

And the question many have asked, are we in store for another winter storm? The answer is a little more complicated. 

As for the short term, Seegar says, "it's hard to associated one event with climate change." 

But, events, like what we saw in February of 2021, could become more common in the future. 

"The system's a little less stable so we're going to continue to see those big swings and things like that," says Seegar. 

For a deeper dive into this warming trend you can go to climate.nasa.gov

For a look at how 2021 temperatures ranked compared to past years, click here

To read more about Texoma's record December warmth, click here

For a full look at NOAA’s reflection on 2021 weather events, click here.