2012 was the hottest year on record, according to multiple sources. A premature heat wave in March, an extensive dry spell in the Corn Belt, coupled with devastating storms, this past year was packed with extreme weather.
Just how hot was it? You might be surprised to hear that the average temperature for 2012 (55.3 degree Fahrenheit) surpassed the previous record (1998) by just one full degree. It might not sound like much but “one degree is quite a big deal” says Jake Crouch, a scientist with the National Climatic Data Center.
Interestingly enough, in 2010, the UN, with nearly 200 nations, set a limit on the rising surface temperature in an effort to slow climate change; two degrees Celsius (3.4 degree Fahrenheit) is the ceiling.
What does this new record mean for 2013? With more than 34,000 daily high records, this past year was just a preview of what’s to come. Warmer winter, harder hitting storms, larger droughts.
The Forum Newsgroup: Could Another Super Storm Be On The Horizon?
Reuters: UN Climate Talks Should Stick with 2 Degree Goal
The New York Times: Record-Setting Heat Across the U.S. in 2012
Photo via Chicago Tribune by Alex Garcia