2012 has been officially marked as the warmest year on record for the continental 48 states, thanks to blistering hot spring and summer months, which led to widespread drought and severe wildfire-inducing heat waves.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average temperature for 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit, which beat the 1998 record by one degree. This degree is actually a large margin, as most records are usually only broken by tenths of a degree.
2012 also had the fourth-warmest winter, the warmest spring, second-warmest summer, and a warmer than average fall. The average temperature was 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above average, with July coming in as the hottest month ever recorded in U.S. recordkeeping history. More than 100 million people experienced temperatures over 100 degrees for 10 or more days.
Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAAâ€™s National Climate Data Center in Asheville, N.C., says climate change has definitely had a role in this, although it is not clear yet how much of the difference was a result of greenhouse gases.
Did the extreme weather of 2012 have any serious impact on your lifestyle?
Image: Climate Central