Global warming: 2012 was the hottest on record

  • Published on January 8th, 2013

state by state, 2012 was the hottest year on record

It’s official: 2012 wasn’t just an average year of deadly drought, horrific heat waves and disastrous storms. It was the hottest such year the US has ever seen.

The NOAA has compiled the climate yearbook for 2012, and it’s not pretty.

  • Overall hottest, beating out 1934 and 1998 by a full degree
  • Every state in the contiguous U.S. had an above-average annual temperature for 2012. Nineteen states had a record warm year and an additional 26 states had one of their 10 warmest.
  • The average temperature was 55.3°F. That’s 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year, and a full 3.2°F above the 20th century average.
  • The year featured the record warmest spring (5.2°F above average!), second warmest summer, fourth warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn.
  • The warm spring set the stage for one of the biggest droughts on record, at one point covering 61 percent of the country.
  • 2012 was the second only to 1998 for weather extremes, including hurricanes, tornadoes and drought.
  • 2012 saw 11 disasters with $1 billion or more in losses (and we’re still counting…).

So this should at least end the climate deniers favorite talking point: “Temperatures have actually been decreasing since 1998” – as if

2012 climate disasters and extreme weather
(click for larger pic)

focusing on one single spike in the temperature record allows you to ignore the fact that the trend line has been steadily and relentlessly rising.

In the meantime, nobody in either party in Washington seems to have any interest in actually doing something about this…


About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.