2012 Was 9th Hottest Year On Record, Despite La Nina Cooling Effect

by Mandy Adwell on 05/05/2013

in Earth,Technology

Global temperature map

The weather has been breaking all sorts of records over the last few years. 2012 was certainly no different, even coming in as the hottest year on record for the continental United States. According to the World Meteorological Organization, last year was the ninth-warmest year since records began in 1850; that’s despite La Nina weather patterns that typically allow for cooler, less extreme temperatures.

This is the 27th year in a row in which the global average temperature exceeded the average from 1961-1990. 2001 to 2012 have all been among the top 13 warmest years on record, with 2010 taking the lead as the hottest.

Continued warming of the lower atmosphere is a “worrisome sign” of global warming, according to WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, even despite La Nina. La Nina is the opposite of El Nino and usually cools the world’s oceans, meaning it may have kept things a little more neutral than what we would have experienced without it. Last year it ran from August 2011 through April 2012, the longest stretch since 2004.

It’s getting hard to keep track of record-breaking weather conditions over the past few years. Did your area break any records, or have your conditions stayed pretty mild?

Image: This map represents global temperature anomalies averaged from 2008 through 2012. Credit: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies/NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio.

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