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Just The Facts: Hot, Hot, Hot

January 9, 2013

According to NOAA, 2012 was the hottest year EVER for the lower 48 US states. More here and here.

This isn’t shocking news for most people, who understand that the climate is warming. We get these sorts of stories all the time now (just like we seem to get school shootings; be nice if political leaders would at least think about climate action, too). What most people don’t really understand, though, is the magnitude of change required in the pricing of carbon, and in their lives, to address this threat (which along with nuclear proliferation is clearly the greatest threat facing not just the United States, but humanity). I’m going to try to look into that question in more detail this year.

For now, though, some graphic illustrations of just how far off the charts we are going:

Average annual temperatures for contiguous U.S. Data from NOAA.

The Climate Extremes Index in the contiguous U.S. over time. 2012 ranked second highest on record (NOAA NCDC)

Difference from average annual temperature in 2012 compared to the 1981-2010 average. (NOAA)



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