Chart of the Day #2: Last Year Was Hottest Ever in U.S.

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.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.