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NOAA released its end-of-year temperature records for 2012 today, and the chart below tells the story. For the contiguous 48 states, 2012 was the hottest year on record by an enormous margin. It was a full degree hotter than the previous two record-setting years in 1998 and 2006.
This doesn’t mean that the entire globe was a degree warmer this year than its previous record. It wasn’t. But climate change is chugging along whether we like it or not. More details here and here.