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After Warmest 12-Months On Record, U.S. Poised To See Warmest Year Ever In 2012

By Joe Romm on September 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

"After Warmest 12-Months On Record, U.S. Poised To See Warmest Year Ever In 2012"

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NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center reports today that this January to August is the warmest year-to-date on record for the contiguous United States. As Climate Central shows in this chart, the U.S. will easily beat the previous record warm year, 1998 — unless the rest of the year is unusually cold:

Graphic illustrating temperature anomalies for some of the warmest years on record in the U.S., and how much cooler than average the September through December period would need to be to avoid setting a record for the warmest year. Credit: Climate Central/NCDC.

Climate Central notes “according to The Weather Channel, taking only the years since World War II, the odds of not surpassing the warmest year are just 7 percent.” But that estimate, of course, downplays the effect on the odds of the recent manmade warming.

Finally, January through December is a somewhat arbitrary demarcation. We already blew past the record for warmest 12-months period in August, as NCDC shows in this chart:

Warmest 12 months

The August 2011-July 2012 temperature beat the previous pre-2012 record by over half a degree Fahrenheit!

Of course, if we keep doing nothing about human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, these records will be broken on an increasingly frequent basis — see Our hellish future: Definitive NOAA-led report on U.S. climate impacts warns of scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 with Kansas above 90°F some 120 days a year — and that isn’t the worst case, it’s business as usual!

And for those who actually care about future generations, there is every reason to believe that the Earth would just keep getting hotter and hotter:

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10 Responses to After Warmest 12-Months On Record, U.S. Poised To See Warmest Year Ever In 2012

  1. Merrelyn Emery says:

    7% – what would it take? A week long, continent wide freezing blizzard? ME

  2. Jack Burton says:

    The Powers That Be, both political and corporate have joined in a suicide pact to maintain fossil fuel burning and to increase it every year as long as the fossil fuels to do it can be accessed. This is not some wild eyed idea I came up with, it is now a demonstrable fact.
    Look at CO2 emissions,look at the resistance to even admitting we have a problem.
    For some reason these powers who control politics and economics have decided that they would rather die than switch. Of course they are taking a lot of unwilling people with them.
    It would almost be funny if it was not such a deadly game being played. I am not sure what motivates these powers to go on a last suicide run, but I would sure like to know what they are thinking as they seek to tap the arctic seas and Greenland for more fossil fuels to burn when it is run away global warming which has opened up the arctic.

    • John McCormick says:

      Jack, its all about getting richer.

      Imagine a NYSE floor trader or hedge fund operator refusing to put through a buy order on a fossil stock because he did not want to further threaten his children’s future.

      Capitalism is driving itself over a cliff but in the long term. Short term is all about counting the loot they made today. Dope addicts are not so different.

      You know all of that. I just wanted to say it again.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        Capitalism is the lowest common denominator poison par excellence. For every capitalist rent-seeker or exploiter who develops a moral conscience, another novice, each generation more unscrupulous and greedy than those who came before, is there to step into the breach. Capitalism is like cancer-it must grow or die, if only to pay off the interest on debt.

  3. John Hollenberg says:

    I thought the warming stopped in 1998 ;)

    Guess someone forgot to tell the laws of physics.

  4. Spike says:

    I like these monthly rolling reports of new records and trends, especially the ratios of hot to cold records, and NCDC’s state of the climate monthly reports are a real boon for anyone fighting the usual denialist claptrap in the press. I suspect that many in the denial business would like to see the back of this information sources, which we need to defend vigorously.

    According to the latest report the last below-average June temperature was June 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.

    So we haven’t had a month cooler than average for 27 years. What would the chances of that be in a non warming world? It nails the old lie that “there has been no warming since…(insert deniers’ current favourite year).

  5. squidboy6 says:

    USA! USA! always breaking records! What a country, what a world!

    1996 had a cool Summer on the West Coast because of fires which blocked sunlight but El Nino still arrived and that just shows that weather and climate are two different things.

    Well, I’m giving up on Louisiana and headed back west. Maybe I can refuge some place well above sea level.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      I’d stay in Louisiana and party on, until they begin distributing the black pills, like in ‘On The Beach’.