03/24/2012 04:31 pm ET

Extreme Weather Of The Week (PHOTOS)

This week was marked by extreme weather in the U.S., although it wasn't unpleasant for many.

Parts of the American Midwest and Northeast saw record breaking temperatures during the first week of spring. Some areas saw daytime highs as warm as 40 degrees Fahrenheit above average with daytime high records shattered by morning low temperatures.

A connection to climate change has been debated. The Washington Post's Jason Samenow offered, "The increase in atmospheric heat-trapping gases is the most compelling explanation" for the increased number of record-breaking warm weather events.

Environmentalist Bill McKibben tweeted, "I know I'm a little obsessed with this heat wave--but: it's not just off the charts, it's off the wall the charts are tacked to."

In Texas, it was revealed this week that "losses from Texas' historic [2011] drought are more than $2 billion more than previously thought," reported the Associated Press. Agricultural officials say the crop and livestock losses from the prolonged 2011 dry spell are $7.62 billion. This beats the 2006 record of $4.1 billion for single year losses.

A tornado in Nebraska derailed 15 train cars this week. At least two twisters hit last weekend near North Platte, Nebraska, reported AP.

A new report from U.S. intelligence agencies suggests "drought, floods and a lack of fresh water may cause significant global instability and conflict in the coming decades," explained AP. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said, "These threats are real and they do raise serious security concerns." This report came as the world observed World Water Day. The global event, which began in 1993, is meant to focus "attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources," according to the U.N.

Below, check out some of the wildest and most extreme weather images from around the world this week.