At 55.3 Degrees, 2012 Was the Hottest Year in American History

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Well if you didn't believe in climate change before, meteorologists are now saying 2012 saw the highest temperatures ever recorded in the U.S. mainland, displacing a record set 14 years ago. Data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 114 weather stations established an average temperature of 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit, a whole degree higher than the previous record in 1998. The NOAA summed up our sweltering, sweaty condition:

The year consisted of the fourth warmest winter, a record warm spring, the second warmest summer, and a warmer-than-average autumn. Although the last four months of 2012 did not bring the same unusual warmth as the first 8 months of the year, the September through December temperatures were warm enough for 2012 to remain the record warmest year, by a wide margin.

The Weather Channel dug into the data and found another impressive number: the 114 weather stations administered by the NOAA recorded 34,008 daily record high temperatures (out of 41,724 daily records total). By comparison, the NOAA recorded just 6,664 record daily lows from the same stations.

In other words: global warming is real.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.