The country ended the year on a high note, at least mercury-wise, and yesterday NOAA announced that December’s extra-toasty weather pushed 2015 into the number two spot in the United States’ heat record. By the end of November, the Lower 48. was on track to have its fifth-warmest year on record. But last month was a sweltering 6 degrees above average, rocketing the entire year up through the ranks. Overall, the period from January to December was 2.4 degrees hotter than average, just 0.9 degrees behind 2012, the current leader.
With 2015 now in the books, that’s 19 consecutive years that the overall U.S. temperature has exceeded the 20th century average. And more broken heat records on their way—NOAA and NASA are expected to announce soon that climate change and El Niño made 2015 the hottest year on record globally.
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