2012 U.S. Heat Record Said to be Due to Climate Change

Thursday, January 10, 2013
(Photo: Craig Kohiruss, Fresno Bee, AP)


Things really heated up in 2012 in the United States, and it had nothing to do with politics or the presidential campaign.


Last year was the hottest one on record in the contiguous U.S., with the average temperature measuring 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit.


That mark was a full degree higher than the previous record set in 1998, and in the world  of meteorology, one full degree represents a significant jump.


Jake Crouch, a scientist with the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, called the high temperatures “remarkable.”


“That we beat the record by one degree is quite a big deal,” Crouch said.


The year 2012 also witnessed 34,008 daily high records at weather stations across the country, compared with only 6,664 record lows, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Guy Walton.


Many scientists believe the new record would not have been set if it wasn’t for the human release of greenhouse gases causing global warming. Their forecast is that this may only be the tip of the iceberg.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Not Even Close: 2012 Was Hottest Ever in U.S. (by Justin Gillis, New York Times)

2012 Was Warmest and Second Most Extreme Year on Record for the Contiguous U.S. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

U.S. Sees Warmest Year Since Record-Keeping Began 117 Years Ago (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Libya Loses 89-Year-Old Hottest Temperature Record to Death Valley (by David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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