2012: Hottest Year on Record for Continental U.S.
Last year was the warmest year on record for the continental U.S. by a wide margin, scientists say.
"2012 marks the warmest year on record for the contiguous U.S., with the year consisting of a record warm spring, the second warmest summer, the fourth warmest winter, and a warmer than average autumn," Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at the National Climatic Data Center at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said in a press conference Tuesday.
According to a new NOAA report, the average temperature for the lower 48 states in 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius), which is higher than the previous 1998 record by one degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degree Celsius).
A single degree difference might not seem like much, but it is an unusually large margin, scientists say. Annual temperature records typically differ