United States Experiencing Hottest Year On Record

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So far, 2012 is shaping up to be the hottest year ever recorded for those of us living in the United States. Data released last week by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that we are completing our warmest spring, warmest year to date, and the warmest 12-month stretch – ever.

Looking at records kept going back for over 100 years, NOAA had some notable highlights of the climate issues we are currently dealing with:

  • The spring of 2012 was the culmination of the warmest March, third warmest April, and second warmest May. This marks the first time that all three months during the spring season ranked among the ten warmest, since records began in 1895.
  • Spring was drier than average for the contiguous U.S. as a whole, with a national precipitation total of 7.47 inches, 0.24 inch below average.
  • The warmer-than-average conditions, which persisted through winter and spring, limited snowfall over a large portion of the country. According to the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the spring snow cover extent across the contiguous U.S. was the third smallest on record.
  • January-May was the warmest such period on record for the contiguous United States, with an average temperature of 49.2 degrees F, 5.0 degrees F above the long-term average.
  • The June 2011-May 2012 period was the warmest 12-month period of any 12 months on record for the contiguous United States.
  • Every state from the Rockies eastward had a top five warmest June-through-May period, and twenty-six states had their warmest such period on record.

While weather is different than climate in that weather changes constantly and climate changes over time, there will be long-term implications of these long-term climate changes that NOAA is recording. If you are alive today, you are living in the midst of some pretty drastic climate change that is only going to get worse. 2012 is just the beginning, so hold on to your hats.

While yesterday was the time to get involved, there is no time like the present. We need to let our voices be heard that we want action on climate issues. We need to stop letting lawmakers waste time on things like soda bans and push them to work on important issues like climate change. Without a planet, soda bans won’t matter too much.

Get involved.

Image Credit: FlyingSinger

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