Hottest Ever?

Maybe you've seen the headlines: "Hottest year on record" and "Feeling the heat: First half of 2012 is the warmest on record." "It's been a hot year. In fact, the first six months of 2012 accounted for the warmest January-through-June period on record for the contiguous U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Monday." Aha! Note the phrase, "contiguous U.S." You know how big the contiguous US is? Its area is just 1.5% of the planet's surface. Brazil is bigger. So how did the planet do this year? NASA/GISS has the data, but only through May so far. Here is where 2012 global temperatures stand (Combined Land-Surface Air and Sea-Surface Water). 2nd warmest May. 6th warmest spring (Mar-May). 10th warmest Jan-May. 14th warmest winter (Dec-Feb). 21st warmest January. In fact, every single month of 1998 was warmer than that same month in 2012 so far. And how much about an entire year can we tell from its first five...(Read Full Post)