2012 Sets Heat Record In U.S. | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 91 Issue 2 | p. 28 | Concentrates
Issue Date: January 14, 2013

2012 Sets Heat Record In U.S.

Department: Government & Policy | Collection: Climate Change
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: NOAA, climate change, weather

Last year—2012—was the warmest on record for the contiguous U.S., according to a report released last week by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. The average temperature was 55.3 °F, 3.3 °F above the 20th-century average and a full degree more than the previously warmest year, 1998. The report notes that 2012 was the 15th-driest year on record for the U.S. It was also the second most extreme year on record for the nation, according to NOAA’s Climate Extremes Index, which measures extremes in temperature, precipitation, and tropical cyclones; 1998 still holds the distinction of the most extreme year. NOAA officials were reluctant to characterize how much of the increase was because of climate change and how much was caused by yearly variances, but others are not. “The facts speak for themselves,” says Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. Boxer is promising to lead a charge to address climate change “so that we can protect our people, local communities, and the nation’s economy.”

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