Unless hell freezes over, 2012 will be the hottest year in U.S. history
Even if the United States has the coldest December in its history — even if it’s a full degree (F) colder on average than the previous coldest December ever — 2012 will be the hottest year in American history.
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We figured this was coming. But even though November wasn’t particularly hot — coming in 2.1 degrees F above the 20th century average, making it only the 20th-warmest November ever — it’s now almost a certainty.
The January-November period was the warmest first 11 months of any year on record for the contiguous United States. The national temperature of 57.1°F was 3.3°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above the previous record warm January-November of 1934. During the 11-month period, 18 states were record warm and an additional 24 states were top ten warm.
Ninety-five of the NOAA’s 180 long-term temperature monitoring stations have seen their warmest years on record. Eighteen states have seen the warmest year-to-date in history. Every state that is in color on the map below has had temperatures in 2012 which were between the 10th-hottest (yellow) to hottest ever (bright red).
This is because of climate change, mostly, and so maybe we should do something about that.
Philip Bump writes about the news for Gristmill. He also uses Twitter a whole lot.
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