The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its latest State of the Climate data, and the results are pretty compelling and dramatic.
According to the data gathered, the last twelve months have been the hottest period for the United States since record-keeping began in the late 1800s. Last summer was the second hottest on record, last winter was the fourth warmest, and last March was the hottest. The average temperature for the lower-48 states was 55.7 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.8 degrees above the average for last century.
Over the past year, 22 states saw record-breaking warm temperatures, and 19 more saw some of their top-10 warmest temperatures. January through April 2012 have run about 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above average, a new record, and 17 more states had temperatures that made it into their top 10 records.
NOAA also records precipitation trends, noting it was drier than usual in most places, but nothing dramatic or record-breaking. There are plenty of graphs and data compilations available on their website, so if you want to see some detailed numbers on the realities of the changing climate, it’s definitely worth a look.