09 Jan 2013:
U.S. Heat Record Was
Shattered in 2012, NOAA Reports
Last year was by far the warmest year in U.S. history, with the average temperature in the contiguous states climbing a full degree higher than the previous high and every state recording above-average annual temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In
its annual State of the Climate Report, NOAA said the average temperature during the year was 55.3 degrees F, about 3.2 degrees warmer than the 20th century average and 1 degree warmer than the previous high, recorded in 1998. While the record annual numbers were driven largely by a historically warm spring — including an unprecedented March heat wave in some regions — the U.S. also experienced its second-warmest summer on record, its fourth-warmest winter, and a fall that was also warmer than average, according to NOAA scientists. In addition, NOAA scientists called 2012 “the second most extreme year on record,” with nearly unprecedented extremes in temperature, precipitation, and tropical cyclones. According to the report, 11 natural disasters each caused more than $1 billion in damages in 2012, including Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast, Superstorm Sandy in the Northeast, and devastating tornadoes in the Great Plains, Texas, and the Ohio Valley. NOAA said that 356 weather stations in the Lower 48 states recorded record high temperatures, while only four stations recorded record lows.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.